The Blog

30 Jun

First week of tether tests concluded

Well, yesterday (Friday) wrapped up our first week of tether testing. No, we aren’t flying yet (it just so happens no one in our company is named superman.) We are however, making steady progress. I would like to list the top 10 things WE think are significant victories. Fundamental Victories: 1.) We haven’t destroyed our

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29 Jun

More testing, More data, and…

Some really encouraging results. We have realized two things in our testing thusfar. The problems are related. 1.) Our engines don’t start at the same time. Duh. Welcome to the real world. 2.) Because they don’t start at the same time, the vehicle experiences various moments during the startup phase. If the startup thrust is

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27 Jun

Vehicle Mods, data analysis, round three

We pulled the Vehicle back today to make a few changes pertaining to the tether mount. After abusing it the last two days, I wasn’t too happy with it – and neither was anyone else. We decided to replace it with a much stronger welded steel peice. So we thrashed all day to take care

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26 Jun

More testing, slightly better results

One test today. We poured over data all day and have a theory about what is going on. We ran a test, and now have more data to pour over tomorrow. To the untrained eye, pretty much the same as yesterday. However, there are some marked improvements.

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25 Jun

MSS officially enters flight testing

Today, we officially entered our flight test regime. We test flew the vehicle four times with varying amounts of success. No flight is anything near stable, but we have identified the reasons for such and are making some changes. That’s why it’s called testing. I won’t say that we wernt really hoping it would just

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24 Jun

1, 2, 3, 4, liftoff ?

Well, almost. There was a chain, but it was slightly slacked. Here’s what we did. Two: Three: Four: Again: So, here’s the description. Two was the result of insufficient LOX prime. We have struggled with this for a while but I think we have finally figured it out today. Three was the result of a

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23 Jun

T minus XX.XX and counting…

No pictures tonight, I’m sorry. I forgot to grab them from Ian K. before we all went home. However, if we did have pictures they would have mostly looked like last nights. We finished all the details, totally integrated the ACS & IMU, and were ready to go. We loaded propellants and fired all the

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22 Jun

Two steps forward and, well…

Really just two steps forward. We spent the day working out the logistics of the tether and adding it to our checklist. Various things get a little more difficult when you throw heavy equipment into the mix. For example “Detach/Attach Power umbilical” becomes more challenging when it is 15′ in the air. Several dry runs

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19 Jun

Tether Tests

Okay, well – literally. Just testing the tether. Here’s some pictures from today in no particular order. You may notice that there is an engine missing. We pulled the one that suffered some damage last night off, and are awaiting the replacement of a part. With luck, that should be all sorted out tomorrow.

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19 Jun

4 engines go!

Well, tonight the media failed us. All I could coax out of what limited images we got was this really crappy one… I’m also too tired to mess with it anymore. But, we got all 4 engines to light. We had some problems early in the day due to a bad battery pack (4 engines

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