Archive for October, 2008

News Story

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Here’s the link to the news story. A great big thank you goes out to Dale Schornack and all the News10 folks!!!!!

Wednesday Nights Build Session

Friday, October 31st, 2008

The team really cranked it out last night. The launch box repairs are nearly complete. We’re now modifying the attachments from a Dark Sky Station mount to a balloon mount.

We had completely disassembled both shop ground stations to make room for assembling the Ascender ring inner envelope. By the end of the night it was all back together and talking to the test away vehicle rig.

The JPA piece should be on TV in about an hour. We’re now entering the “JP NERVOUS ZONE” . Dale (the reporter and news anchor) always does a great job, but the butterflies still do their thing in the stomach.

Please Stand

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Just a thought before the election.



Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

If you are in the greater Sacramento/Stockton California area tune in to News10 (Channel 10, local ABC news) this Thursday evening.

Dale Schornack the evening news anchor joined us in the desert for the Away 36 mission. He’s been out in the dust and wind with his camera for about a decade now filming our efforts. He’s put together a piece about the whole thing, the from balloons to orbit. They’ve started airing previews of the piece tonight. I just saw one and the scenes are great!

It should air on the 6 and 11pm newscasts.

Ascender 100 Rib

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Saturday we did a test fit of a structural rib on the Ascender 100. The ribs along with a leading edge tube changes the circular cross section of the airship into an elliptical one.

Ascender 100 Cutting Fabric Ascender 100 arm in the parking lot Ascender 100 arm in the parking lot

Paul and Karl on the inside Inflating the rib Fitting the rib Paul

The rib was a little off. We’re now going back over the numbers to see where we went wrong. We’ll have a new test rib made for another test in about a week.

The Smithsonian

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

It was a really honor to be there signing books and talking to folks. I still have goosebumps. On the first day they set me up just under Spaceship One and the Spirit of St. Louis.

On day two I was at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center, the annex by the airport. There is a risk that it all can go to your head. A eight year old boy came to my rescue. He walked up to the table, looked me in the eye and said, “That’ll never work”, turned around and walked off. I smiled, being firmly put in my place and enjoyed the rest of the day.

The next day I did a book signing at NASA HQ. I’m still so weirded out by everything I can’t begin to tell you. However, friends there is a bright ray of light there. It came from the folks at the NASA HQ Library. They are the true unsung heroes of that place. More on that later.

JP at the Smithsonian

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

JP will be at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. this Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and 19. Saturday he will be signing copies of his book “Floating to Space” at the National Mall building. Sunday he’ll be doing the same at the Smithsonian’s other building, The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport.

Stop by and say Hi!