May PongSat Mission Rescheduled

May 5th, 2020

I  hope this note finds you well and persevering.

With the Pandemic hitting hard in our area we have been shut down, except for mask production, for the last two months. We have heard from teachers that were going to fly with us on the May PongSat mission. For most their schools are closed & won’t be able to participate.

This leads to two things.

One: We are rescheduling the Away 130 PongSat flight to late June.

Two: Everyone flies.

If you can’t get your PongSats to us before then for any reason we will fly your PongSats whenever you are ready. In addition to the June flight we are planning late summer and fall flights (and next spring). If you have a few ready now and need to do the rest later that’s OK too. Whatever way you need to make it work will be OK. Everybody flies.

Take care,



April 8th, 2020

We’re been printing masks 24/7 for three weeks now. They’re going to nursing homes. Many nursing home had had their supplies back-ordered as hospitals have been necessarily getting the majorities of the stocks. We’re run until the machines break down or we’re out of materials.

The Beat Goes On

March 21st, 2020

The city is on lockdown but the work goes on. Just me at the shop. I’ve been working on anti tip struts for the sub. We’re printing the strut brackets and feet. They don’t bear much load and there will be 20 of them.


March 10th, 2020

The Away 108 balloon 1/4 mile off from the Away 103 balloon. We’re developing docking for Ascender airships & Dark Sky Station using balloons for the 1st steps. Next, pointing control, low thrusting tests, finally balloon bumping at peak altitude. Best guess, an 18 test flight series.

Submarine Progress

March 3rd, 2020

Today we’re pulling all the vertical thrusters off Belle. These are the four 30lb thrust trolling motors controlled with quad copter software. We are sealing the shafts then remounting them. Getting closer and closer to 1st dive.

High Altitude Airship Valve Test 2

February 27th, 2020

We’ve been upgrading the airship helium valves. They flew on A129 & they’ll get tested again on Away 130. We’ve changed the plumbing & doubled piston pressure. Here’s a pic of the valves on the last test & some bad drawing to show how it all goes together.

They are going to be install on the 48 foot Ascender airship expected to fly late next year. We expect to fly three high altitude tests before they go on an airship.

Common Architecture

February 11th, 2020

80 foot carbon airship truss. We use a ‘Common Architecture’ system for everything we fly. This is not only an Ascender airship truss but a Dark Sky Station truss and a Tandem airship truss. Take a chunk off the end and it’s a rack that we fly PongSat missions on.