Tuesday, September 27, 2016

SpaceX's Interplanetary Transport System

Today, Elon Musk revealed his concept of how to get to Mars and beyond - the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS). He would like to send 100 people on an 80-150 day trip to the Red Planet. The BFS rocket will have a 12m booster and the spaceship will measure 17m. The stack will 122m tall. The booster will produce 127,800 kN (28,730,00 lb-f) of thrust and, of course, will return home. After landing, a propellant tanker will be loaded and the booster will send it to meet-up with, and fuel, the spaceship. The tanker then returns to Earth and the spaceship is off to Mars.

You can find the entire presentation on YouTube, but here is a summary video. The Next Big Future blog has a more lengthy summary.

Here is a pretty artist's conception of the ITS spaceship with its solar panels deployed. If you click through to Flickr, you will find more illustrations and photos of the recent test of the methane-powered Raptor engine.

Interplanetary Transport System

Now, please tell me they will release a flying model of the BFS!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Nothing, nada, zilch... UPDATED

That's the total amount of rocketry projects on the bench. Or even bouncing around in my head.

I have surveyed and inventoried my rocketry and non-rocketry parts. I bought a life sized foam Frankenstein Monster head (couldn't resist at half price minus 20%). Still nothing.

Once again, I considered converting the cardboard T-Rex that I mentioned earlier this year but my grandson reclaimed it.



Sunday, September 18, 2016

Saturn V fin replacement

After one use, I highly recommend getting some Bondic liquid plastic glue. It's a bit pricey, but I can see it will be very useful. I attached this fin in about 15 seconds. But that took an extra pair of hands. Still, this would have been very difficult even with CA.

I first laid on a thin bead and carefully positioned the fin. My wife then irradiated it with the included UV LED source for about 4 seconds. It seemed sturdy enough but I added a thin layer on each side. I bet this joint is at least as strong as the other three.

fin replacement

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Launch Report 2016-8 (MDRA)

Location: Central Sod Farm, Centreville, MD, ESL-219
Weather: 75-80, mostly overcast, wind 0-10
Total flights: Today - 5; YTD - 62
Total motors: Today - 10; YTD - 80
Motors by class YTD: MMX-1, 1/2A-2, A-17, B-2, C-28, D-7, E-10, F-5, G-8

Nice day, no shade required. The crowd didn't look too bad but the pads were mostly full on each round. I once again had a misfire on a G74SU using the stock igniter and left without flying the Ventris.

My Flights:
  1. Landshark on a G118-8 - CR@300' - Fast flight, short walk.
  2. Mini Chesapeake Sea Monster on 5 x A10 - All 5 lit using the Cluster Buck. See the partial video in the album below.
  3. Boyce Saturn V on an C6-3 - Despite a marginal thrust/weight ratio, it flew well with just a little wobble. The dowel tower and one fin broke. I will replace the fin with 1/64th G10 and attach it with Bondic UV sensitive glue.
  4. Chesapeake Sky Monster on two D12-3s - Only one went and it quickly nosedived. Amazingly there was no damage.
  5. Chesapeake Sky Monster on two E12-4s - Both lit and it did a wider loop before hitting the ground. It was still under power so it tried to head off toward Bat-mite's tent. Both motors ejected on the ground. It doesn't look in too bad a shape in the attached photo, but it is not repairable. Needed more power? It was out of kilter due to the crash? The 'skeleton' design had lift issues? Who knows.
I tried to embed the whole Flickr album, but it doesn't seem to be working. If you click on this photo you can navigate backwards through the rest of the photos.


Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Adios to Kay's Lounge (1939-2016)

Credit: culturemap Houston/Eric Sandler.

I just heard that my favorite college watering hole has closed and will be torn down to make room for patio homes. Located close to Rice U., it was a favorite hangout for Rice students and other locals. I spent a lot of time there, drinking Longnecks and playing foosball. We'd occasionally get to sit at the famous Texas Table. My name is on there somewhere.

Credit: culturemap Houston/Eric Sandler.

I hear the sale was amicable. The local cats have been relocated and the Texas Table is being retained by the owner. He says they may reopen in the Hill Country at some point.

Thanks for the memories.