Archive for May, 2010

Away 43 Landing Site

Monday, May 31st, 2010

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Mars Explorers

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Here are two groups of researcher that participated in the Away 45 and Away 46 missions. Each one build their own edge of  space PongSat experiment. I expect to see all of them on Mars one day. Way to go!

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They are from a kindergarten class and third Grade class of Hopkins Elementary School.

Quad Engine Work

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

The quad engine is getting closer and closer to firing. The oxidizer plumbing is done. We did a cold flow test at 100 psi.  It turns on and off just like it should from the remote control box. We also modified our Hypertech ignition system for the quad. Lastly we’ve mounted the whole thing on tracks.

Next the instrumentation needs to be added so we’ll know what’s going on. Then the entire system will get mounted on a cart to make setup in the desert easier.

PongSats the Movie

Monday, May 24th, 2010


Latest Build Session

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Saturday was a day of sewing, circuits and foam cutting. We need a little more power output from the new propeller driven balloon release (propeller as in the chip).  Mike spent the day bread boarding the modification circuit.  Paul was busy at the sewing machine creating a wider tear panel for our small balloon bag. The balloon bag is just the right size for sea level launches but too small for launches the 4000 foot Black Rock lake bed.  The wider tear panel will add just the right amount of room. Ethan our evil intern wrestled with triangles all day making antenna mounts for the next set of vehicles (the triangles almost had him, but he won out in the end).

Schools in Space

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Here are some images from camera 2 on Away 46.




On descent the radar reflector, which is suspended below the vehicle, came up to say “hi”.

PongSats at 108,000 feet

Friday, May 14th, 2010

We carried 150 student built PongSat experiments on the last mission set. Here are three PongSats up top.