Archive for January, 2010

Crew Module Mock Up

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

The crew module mock up has sides! At least foam core does.

wall6 wall7

wall8 wall9

JPA at SPIE Photonics West

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Toshiba featured JP Aerospace’s work on the ‘Space Chair’ commercial at there booth at SPIE Photonics West. Photonics West is a huge trade show held this week in San Francisco. It featured what seemed like every laser and advanced optics company in the world.

toshiba_booth1 toshiba_booth2

JP on the Space Show

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Tuesday night at 7pm pacific time I’ll be on David Livingston’s radio program, “The Space Show”. You can tune in on the web at:

Click on “Listen Live”.

Call in and say “HI”.

Foam Everywhere

Monday, January 25th, 2010

We’ve started building the shell for the crew module mock up. The shell is make of one inch foam to be skinned with kraft paper. To get the foam to bend how we want we drilled it full of holes. The side walls are make from six large sheets. We calculated that we drilled just over 1,400 holes on Saturday.

Drawing the Girds Drilling

One of Six Parts



Thursday, January 21st, 2010

For the past year I’ve been posting new videos on YouTube instead of of putting a downloadable file on our video page. It’s just a lot easier to add new videos and folks find it easier to watch them as well. I’ve changed the link to our video page to the YouTube page with all the JPA video. There 43 in all. Check it out. There may be some oldies you haven’t see in a while or one’s you’ve missed.

JP Aerospace YouTube Channel

Here are two really old ones I just recently posted to YouTube.



JP Aerospace on Discovery Channel Canada

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

We were on last April and didn’t even know it. They came out and filmed an interview for the Daily Planet show about a year ago, but we thought nothing came of it. They actually did a very nice piece.

Sewing, Boxes, Antennas and Adapters

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

We can almost see the end of the new launch bag project. A couple more weeks and the sewing will be done, for now….

The team made two new controller boxes for the next three high rack missions. The old ones got a bit thrashed on the landings of the Toshiba commercial flights.

We’ve begun upgrading our flight computers. For the past six years we’ve been using Parallax’s Basic Stamp series. Over the next year we’ll be moving systems over to Parallax’s Propeller computer. It’s an eight way parallel processor on a chip. It will give us a great deal more speed and flexibility in our flight controllers. We waited on the processor upgrade until we got the major telemetry system upgrade complete. The next Away mission will have a least one Propeller processor on board.

The “desktop” quad engine is slowly coming together. This weekend we built the 300 watt plasma antenna. We spent about two hours trying to tune it. After much frustration we discover that the antenna was fine and one of our meters was uncalibrated. We only tested it a 70 watts. Our big amplifier is still at the repair shop (it was smoking right out of the box). Today we struggled with the connector nightmare on the oxidizer side of the engine. The regulators, flashback arrestors, servo valves and other plumbing not only all have different thread sizes but different unit standards and even different thread direction. Everything is actually design not to fit together. This is for safety. You don’t want to hook a fuel line to an oxygen tank for example. However, since there are no hybrid/plasma engines plumbing parts out there you end up cobbling bits together from other disciplines. The result is that everything needs an adapter. One the second generation engine we’ll make custom fittings, however now it’s hair pulling time.

attaching_wind_loops tracking_systems