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MSS Q&A Thread

Posted by: jongoff - Mon Oct 23, 2006 6:59 pm
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MSS Q&A Thread 
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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:28 am
Any luck on the test-site guys?

Rob

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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:30 am
Alas, Ben was right. While we got that valve leak fixed, and all the other leaks taken care of, there were still a few more issues that came up that we'll have to work on. We were really darn close to fueling up and rolling out, but we found some issues with our old throttle valves that we're going to have to take a few days to fix, test, and verify.

Doing a multi-engine vehicle really is a challenge. I still think it's the right direction in the long-run, but it sure makes things a lot more challenging to get right the first time. The valves and engines don't have to merely function they have to all be relatively consistent, or you can get major problems.

We're getting there, but this is turning into quite the slog. But the good news is that once we've gotten these issues retired, it should be much easier for future vehicles.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:33 am
Rob Goldsmith wrote:
Any luck on the test-site guys?


Yeah, the test site is ready to go. The airport wanted us to have some blast protection setup before we started testing again. We got that taken care of earlier this week, and are now in the process of debugging the last few things on the vehicle before we can roll out. We'll put up some pictures soon.

~Jon


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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:01 am
Hey, we flowed LOX today. We wanted to make sure the valves would still work correctly at LOX temperature. We're using the same valves and same model of gearmotor actuator as in XA-0.1, but driving them with a different electrical architecture.

We got the test going, found the bug that kept some stuff from working last Friday, and will be out again tomorrow to try again. I've been trying to post updates on my Twitter feed when I happen to be at the desk. http://twitter.com/wikkit

As safety officer on Friday, I ordered the group to take an actual weekend, so I went to Monterey with the interns. Great trip; it was finally nice to see the green parts of California. But it meant that I didn't get my usual weekend's worth of hardware debugging done.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:12 pm
Am i right in thinking that Michael Mealling said MSS may do some tests this weekend? I am pretty sure i read something on the spacevidcast chat.

If so, were any done that i missed? Or, will these tests happen soon?

Rob

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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Rob Goldsmith wrote:
Am i right in thinking that Michael Mealling said MSS may do some tests this weekend? I am pretty sure i read something on the spacevidcast chat.

If so, were any done that i missed? Or, will these tests happen soon?


One of the new rocket testing rules here at the airport is that we can only test while the airport tower is open. The idea isn't a bad one--if there's some sort of an accident, you want someone on-duty that can get help out there ASAP. But it does mean that we can only test M-F 7am-5pm. So, no we weren't doing any tests over the weekend.

We've been working through the last few code and operational issues. Came real close to getting the engine to fire for the first time on the vehicle yesterday, and may finally get to that point today if all goes well.

It's like our experience in the past with the trailer and XA-0.1. When you have a whole new system (especially one with a new computer setup and new code), it can take several tries to wring out all the remaining bugs. But then once it starts working, the pace typically picks up quickly.

~Jon


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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:41 am
We fired today, for the first time on XA-0.1B. It was three short runs, but it means that the major hurdles have been overcome, and now it's just down to running the tests.

It's much later than we said, yes. We did some destructive testing on a few components in the system, and made a large number of changes to the code that manages everything on the vehicle.

Throttled engines make everything harder, but it's the only way to get to where we want to go.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:15 am
This is great news!
I can't wait to see some pictures or even videos of those tests.

You did take some, didn't you? ;)


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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:52 pm
Ben, will their be an October/November update like the September one?

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I can't wait to see some pictures or even videos of those tests.

You did take some, didn't you? Wink


Too right! We would love to see some media from this! :)
Good to hear you are progressing well!

Rob

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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:46 pm
Yep. I'm wrangling media now. There will be a blog update as well.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:59 pm
Ben's out at the test site right now with the others (and I'm back at the shop doing CAD work...yay...), but he sent a message earlier to aRocket that I figured was worth reposting here.

~Jon

*****************************************

Just a quick note that I posted a few videos to YouTube. After a whole
bunch of testing without fire, we're on to the fire stage for XA-0.1B,
our four engine VTVL vehicle, which is the 500lbf engines and tanks
from XA-0.1, but all new electromechanical systems.

Test three from two days ago:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px1vIF9Kd8Y

Test one, an engine unstart in real time:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E_pZvCbB1Q

In 1/10th speed slow motion it's a ballet of flying concrete pavers
and fireball:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEDurAFQvvs

Ben
(the project manager on B)


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Post    Posted on: Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:23 am
Thanks for sharing!

This was just the thing I needed for my Friday morning coffee break at work. :)

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:17 am
Did the blast deflection system get deflected?

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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:01 pm
idiom wrote:
Did the blast deflection system get deflected?


Heh. Most of those blast deflectors had been used a lot for XA-0.1, and were apparently closer to needing to be retired than we had thought. It's not a big deal though, those things only take a couple hours to make a new one.

~Jon


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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:39 pm
Ben
I really enjoy watching your progress! Good luck and Godspeed to Masten Space.

Monroe
Team Prometheus

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