Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Getting back to rockets.

I've been working on several different projects. My printed motor looks finished, but when I pressure test it leaks EVERYWHERE so I can try to fill the pores with tin and silver solder being careful not to clog cooling passages or get silver where it shouldn't be, (Silver is catalytic with H2O2) or I can see if I can afford having the part made by the better DMLS process. I just sent out a modified 3D model to have that quoted.

I have my custom GPS front end digitizer done and most of the FPGA work done for fast correlation hardware , but I have not put all the parts together and applied power. I hope to get to that in the next month or so.

I also have a few small electronic projects I committed to do for FAR infrastructure so I need to spend some time on that this month as well.

The potential NASA nanosat launcher prize may change my path, but I'm still thinking the year or so out goal is a reusable vehicle that can go to 100Km and back. It will be much smaller than the Masten and or Armadillo plans. It will also look more rocket like.

Four years ago I bought an 02 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab to drive back and forth to the desert in a reliable comfortable truck. I've since put an additional 110K miles on it and two weeks ago Sunday it tried to kill me by blowing out the rear end and locking up the rear wheels. I spun it pretty hard, got it on two wheels, but did not flip it or hit any thing. I knew I eventually had to replace the truck, I'd just spend 1K getting the truck all ready for the fall rocket season,
new brakes, AC system cleaned up etc...

I have a general rule that I don't let a vehicle strand me more that twice. The dodge already left me stranded about a year ago with a blown water pump, this was its second misdeed. So I went out and bought a year old 09 Super Crew F150 It has 17K miles on it and I got a good deal. This sets the rocket budget back a little bit, but business seems to be recovering and it should not be a big issue much beyond the first of the year.

I'm actually getting excited about working on rockets again and hope to get back to regular progress in the next month or so.