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August 11, 2011 - by A new rocket fuel? Part 14
While there is more rumble in the Google Lunar X Prize jungle, another test firing with hexaphenox propellant has been done. Propellant mass: 50g Binder: Rosin, solved in methanol Casted into a ID 30mm PVC pipe Round core, 10mm diameter 48h hardened at 30 ºC
- A Motor Team telecon was held this past Sunday to discuss readiness for the targeted August 20th firing of the DSS Boiler Plate motor. The 1.5 hour telecon was productive and so far, a tentative "GO" is being given for the planned static firing. Summary of the telecon:
- Rick Maschek continues to make progress with casting the DSS grains. Rick reports that difficulties extracting the mandrel after allowing the propellant to cure (24 hours) have not been totally resolved. Rick plans to modify the extraction process to "pull" the mandrel, rather than "push" the mandrel, in an attempt to ease removal. - Due to various issues with preparations leading to the DSS BP motor static firing, the test date has been pushed back 2 weeks to August 20th.
July 30, 2011 - by A new rocket fuel? Part 13
Markus reports: "Second flight with a hexaphenox rocket motor successful. I made this time absolutely sure the ignition took place on the end of the core and not nearby the nozzle. Motor was chuffing at the first attempt, something that happens when the propellant is ignited near the nozzle instead of at the head of the core. The rocket also had a homebuilt altimeter on board. Flight plot showed an altitude of 136m. Reasonable from the observation and calculation. There was no recovery system on board. Rocket came down just 10m away from the launching point."
July 29, 2011 - by A new rocket fuel? Part 12
First flight with hexaphenox propellant, but CATO after lift off.
July 27, 2011 - by A new rocket fuel? Part 11
First success (no CATO) with a hexaphenox core burner.
To date, Rick has cast three grains for the DSS BP motor. After casting the first grain, Rick reported. "I must say, once I got everything together and working it was the easiest grain I have ever casted. Because of the size, I had lots of room to pour, it was quick, not a single dribble or spill". Grain, still in mould, with mandrel extracted
July 26, 2011 - by A new rocket fuel? Part 10
As the small hexaphenox rocket motors always exploded when using a core burner configuration, the following experiment should evaluate if a runaway reaction occurs even without nozzle: No CATO. Clean short burn. Next steps are to use a more stable combustion chamber and a nozzle with a bigger throat.
July 25, 2011 - by Space QR logos
These are space QR logos which my friend Robs Ned has designed for Team Selene and our partner Sugar Shot to Space. The logos will be put on the DoubleSShot rocket which will hopefully reach an altitude of 100 kft end of this year. You can guess or read what secret code these two logos contain.
July 24, 2011 - by I need a better tactic
The design of RoverX is based on the work of the Case Biorobotics Lab, which was inspired by the movements of a cockroach for their WhegsTM robots. It is not an easy task to program the robot but fun. Today we have considered following initial situation --- a step, 240mm tall: How should the rover overcome such an obstacle? To come straight to the point, we were not successful today:


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