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latest happenings at JPA

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Sun Jul 17, 2005 7:38 pm
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jp logo7/12/2005 Sometimes the old ways are the best, (or you know your tired when…)
I just had a odd math moment I wanted to share. I am roughing out some components. I needed to do some
trig so I get out my trusty slide rule (yes, some people just can’t let go). To my horror the number I got just
couldn’t be right. Have I forgotten how to use the thing? Have the numbers slid around while I wasn’t looking?
I immediately zip over to my favorite math calculator web site and …… disaster, It’s down! OK, take a deep
breath. I open up the windows calculator, (ick), and work the problem in a completely different manor to get an
approximate. The number is looks about right. Time to backtrack. After much digging and searching it was
discovered that an error was made in an initial hard measurement of a physical item, (in the real world).

The slide rule was, of course, correct. When I’m standing on Mars it will be in my pocket just in case.

7/11/2005 Sponsors make the flights possible. Finding and working with new sponsors is one of my on going tasks.
This week we’ve been talking to anyone and everyone who is looking for something a little different in their advertising.
Calling and selling is not my best bit. However, it’s a lot more fun than is sounds. How often do you get the chance
to call a professional business person and say: “Do you want to buy a spaceship?”. ?

7/06/2005 Space Education in Action!
If you want to see a real space accomplishment, check this out:
This PongSat flew on our last mission, Away 26.

Model Update

The new nose and tails have been covered in fiberglass and sanded.
Time for putty, sand, prime, repeat…

Airframe Mandrel

A tremendous amount of labor went into the getting the airframe mandrel ready. The team buffed, polished
and waxed till their arms just about fell off. The mandrel is used to make the airframe of the ML rocket.

PongSats on TV!
KXTV, the Sacramento ABC news station, aired their story about PongSat. They have the video available, (streaming),
at their site. It includes some great scenes from Away 26. A big thank you goes out to Dale Schornack at News 10!


Model update: The model of the new Ascender has a nose!

Recycling is not just for cans.
To save time and money we are recycling the fins from an earlier ML rocket for use on one of the new ones.
The older ML suffered a crack in the airframe on the last landing. The fins, however, are in excellent condition.
The fins are carbon with a foam core and attach to the rocket with Kevlar. Refurbishing involves band sawing
the fin off the airframe then grinding off the kevlar then sanding off the finish.

Sometimes the projects are big and other times they’re small. We’re building a scale model of the next Ascender.
Only the main envelopes part of the model are complete, (as in the real version). The model as it is now is 23 inches
long, (each arm), and is made of fiberglass over foam. Next for the model is the nose, tail tips and the cross strut.

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