Archive for October, 2009

Chute at 98,000

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

You won’t expect a parachute to be completely unfurled and taunt at 98,000 feet, however…

parachute5

What’s Next

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

The next flight on deck is the Tandem airship.  Poor Tandem keeps getting bumped back for paying gigs.  We have a tight weather window left.  By the end of November the winds aloft will be up over 100 mph and the low morning surface winds will be gone.  Tandem is capable of flying in pretty harsh conditions but we want a calm day for the first flight. If the weather goes bad the flight will need to wait till spring. However, the team is pushing hard to get it in this year.

Last night we stripped down the vehicle and did a complete reweighing of all components.  We’re making upgrade to all the systems and this weekend reintergration will start.

Up and Away!

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

The boom and chair make these vehicles pretty tricky to get into the air.

away39-42inflight

Concept Drawings

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Here are some of the original concept drawings for the Away 39-42 missions.

a39-40_concept_drawings

Configuration Testing

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

This picture shows us tuning the  configuration.  Everything is hanging from the ceiling. The vehicle, boom and chair all needed to be balanced.  We need to be sure to keep oscillations low and that any swings would be dampened, pretty tricky with long boom with a camera on the end.  On top of that the camera needed to be pointed at the chair at all times, sounds simple but….

The flight chairs weren’t much heaver then our placeholder foamcore chair.  There were made in a movie studio model shop.  Even inches away you couldn’t tell them from real chairs until you picked them up. The wood was all balsa with hollow sections and the cushions were fabric over balsa frames.  We worried all the time about someone accidentally sitting on one!

a39-42_chairtest

Mission Pics!

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
Mounting Fins

Mounting Fins

Antennas at Dawn

Antennas at Dawn

Balloon Fill

Balloon Fill

PongSats!

PongSats!

Last minute adjustments

Last minute adjustments

Hanging the chair

Hanging the chair

Picture in Picture

Picture in Picture

Away 42 Launch

Away 42 Launch

Away 42 on it's way

Away 42 on it's way

Away 42 Closeup

Away 42 Closeup

Away 39 Landing

Away 39 Landing

Away 41 Recovery

Away 41 Recovery

Watching the Footage

Watching the Footage

The Team

The Team