Evaluating 2007

This last year saw more construction and infrastructure work and fewer missions. We saw good progress on our spread spectrum telemetry system. The team’s mission skills have moved up to a whole new level with the smooth, symphony like performance during the Away 32-33 duel mission. The mission control van was completely rebuilt on the inside. The new changes make running complex mission that much easier. The van also got the engine, transmission and differential rebuilt this year. Our launch bag technology was also the focus of a lot work. More sewing our way to space. We now can launch any size balloon in any kind of weather. We changed the way we filled balloons this year. Gone are the fill weights and scales, every cubic foot of helium is metered. There was a host of small things this year. We designed new vehicle fins, evaluated new GPS’s at high altitude, overhauled software and honed procedures.

The team showed great focus this year. It’s harder to stay motivated when most of the work is detailed component stuff. The big flight stuff is more exciting, however they jumped in built, tested, cut, glued, sewed and got the dull but critical jobs done.

Our peak altitude for the year was 103,900 feet. There was no altitude goal for this year but it’s nice to get really up there. We had four high altitude missions in 2007. This loss of Micro Tandem and Away 34 was a setback, but more of an emotional one than a project one. Losing Away 34 did have an impact on Tandem. We were flight qualifying components that were going to be moved over to Tandem. We ended up building an entire set of flight electronics. Tandem development dominated this years work. So much so that building new rockets had to be pushed to 2008. Tandem is almost ready to fly. We’re really looking forward to getting her in the air.

Overall this year we slipped a little on the big Airship to Orbit plan, but we’ve tremendously advanced our base. I think it will pay off in the long run.

4 Responses to “Evaluating 2007”

  1. Tom says:

    Can you fill us in the “Airship to Orbit” plan – and perhaps indicate where along the path you are at? Maybe fill us in what milestones you hope to hit in 2008?

  2. Brian says:

    I’ve followed along on your website for most of the year and would just like to say that I think your progress has been extraordinary. With a small budget you get more done per dollar spent I’m sure than any other space program. Keep up the excellent work and I’m sure all of you will be rewarded immensely.

  3. Paul says:

    In searching for the Away 34, I saw a map of California the other day, and it had, somewhere above Marysville, the town of Lovelock. In the immortal words of Mr. Ollivander, “..I…wonder.” (perhaps this comment will not make it to the post. It would require an explanation)

  4. Mike Manes says:

    EOSS has been interested in doing a launch bag like what JP seems to have perfected. I browsed thru your blog looking for some design details with no joy, however. Can you pass on some tips and tricks that would let us build our own for 1200 thru 3000 gm latex balloons? And what are you using to meter the He in lieu of measuring lift during the fill?
    73 de Mike W5VSI