Archive for August, 2011

Do the Twist , the Tango and the Astronaut Roll

Thursday, August 25th, 2011


Tandem Motor Tests

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

The team  spun up the big propellers on Tandem Saturday.  The blades haven’t been balanced yet so they vibrate a bit but all went well.  The propellers are designed to run at 100,000 feet so running them at sea level is like driving them through chocolate pudding.  It really  heats us the whole system. For the rest of the testing we’re going to use the old Ascender 90 sea-level test propellers. We got them mounted on the motors, they just look so small…..

Moon Over Black Rock

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

This beautiful image was taken during the Samsung mission by team photographer Natalie Vollrath.

Tandem is Awake!

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

A vehicle never seems alive to me until the main controller is powered up and talking. We got the controller talking to the ground station, accepting commands and sending back data from the sub systems.

Some people lift weights to stay in shape, we lift airships.  We spend the day lifting Tandem, checking balance and moving systems. After an afternoon of an inch here and an an inch there we have her balanced with in 0.2 pounds which is about the same accuracy as the balloon fill so it’s time for hard mount of all the systems.

Next Saturday we’ll be spinning up the motors.

Balloon in the Visor

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

This is from a test flight for the Samsung mission. You can see the vehicle, balloon and fins in the visor of our intrepid miniature astronaut.

A bit shaky but you can see the just shattered balloon.

Another Happy Customer

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Balloon Burst at 104,000 feet

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Away 57 as the balloon gave it up.