I’ve been dragging out the old stuff while we work on the new stuff.
Archive for August, 2010
We started assembling two new high rack vehicles Saturday. We may have a commercial gig to fly in couple of weeks. We won’t know till a few days before if it’s a go or not. There’s no way we could build and test a vehicle in the one day before travel that we would have. So we decided to build up the high racks just in case. If they are not used for this job we’ll save them for the next. We almost need to change our motto to “JP Aerospace, TV Commercials at the Edge of Space”.
Due to the deeper cold we’re seeing at high altitude we’ve been upping the insulation on some systems. On the last missions we flew with an half inch extra foam wrap around the primary position telemetry system. It was a significant improvement.
The commercial gig will rearrange our schedule a bit. If it’s a go we can test the modification to the balloon release system at the same time. If it checks out then Tandem will be the next mission. If we don’t do the commercial gig then we have two other high racks being prepped to test the release system as well and another test on the rocket launch control system.
Triple junction solar cells tested at 107,000 feet.
If you left a comment in the last week, please repost it. The problem ended up being a corrupt sql database. Finally all is well.
Sand Bags? I started researching this about five years ago. The motivation was discovering just how bad sand bags are and the fact they haven’t really changed in over a thousand years.
After three years of research and testing we got a design that worked so we put it into production. The new company has been running for just under two years now. We expanded into the warehouse next door to fit the 200,000 bags we keep in stock. It’s been an intense two years running both JPA and Sand Brick. Check out the sand bag site! Let me know what you think. At least the comments on the blog over there work!
Like Michael Jordan the Archaepteryx has come out of retirement for one more round. The Archaepteryx was our microgravity drop vehicle. Like Buzz Lightyear it doesn’t fly but falls with style. At its full 300 pound drop weight it provides 20 seconds of microgravity when released from a balloon at 100,000 feet. For the last 20 years it’s been in storage.
The Archaepteryx is being reimaged as drag reduction test bed for the Airship To Orbit program. The vehicle will undergo a steep weight reduction program, from 300 to 20 pounds. That part is actually easy. The massive nose weight has been removed and the steel and acrylic internal structure will be replaced with a carbon and foam one. The Archaepteryx has a beautiful custom 26 foot orange and brown parachute and a mach 5 all kevlar ribbon drogue. That will be replaced by a 7 foot parachute out of the ML rocket. Look for drop test to start in the fall of next year.