Archive for February, 2009

The Doctor is in the House

Friday, February 27th, 2009

A huge congratulation goes out to team member Karl Hallowell. As of yesterday he is officially Doctor Hallowell. Karl just received his PhD in Mathematics from the University of California at Davis.

Way to go Karl!!

Doctor Karl
Karl with his official doctoral cheesecake.

3.5psi !!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 27th, 2009

We must be geeks to get all excited about 3.5 psi. However, we’ve been trying to reach this pressure in our airbeam for a few months now. The Ascender airbeam ribs have an operating pressure of 1.7 psi. For a safety margin we wanted the rib to take 2X that amount, 3.4 psi. As followers of this blog know we’ve had a challenging time with this.

Last night we had all the fixes in and the test airbeam ran all the way. In fact we couldn’t resist going a little over to 3.5 psi just to make sure. Anthony summed it up, “Does this mean we get to do something ELSE NOW?!?!?

Patching    Full Pressure
Patching            Full Pressure

Going Up

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Powers of Ten, Part 1


A few more pics.

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Drew and the reel
Drew focusing on the reel.

Resistor hunt
The Great Resistor Hunt

The Little Guy
The little guy with the big guy.

Paul’s Rocket Frame by Frame

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Paul’s feeling under the weather. These are some launch pics to get him through.

1 2 3 4

5 6 7 8

Little Rocket with Attitude

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Team member Drew put together a replica of a 1970′s vintage Centuri Two-Bitz paper rocket. This little guy will hit 1000 feet. The pics shows it sitting on top of the fin unit of the 12 foot ML upper stage.


Little Critical Systems

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

We’ve been worked on several small systems and test tool the last few months. Two are just about complete. The reel system is lowering a thirty pound weight at a nice easy pace and can be smoothly stopped and started. We’ll do a bit more shop testing then it will be off to the tall ravine bridge. There we can test the full 500 distance run.

The new airbeam shell and endcaps are finished. This Wednesday we’ll do the pressure tests. We need to reach 3.4 psi with the test airbeam. Once we manage that we can put what we’ve learned into the Ascender rib airbeam.

Another new little critical system is a heater unit. This heater will warm the rocket motor before launch at 100,000 feet. The crew got the prototype together and did a great job getting data out of it on a series of test runs.