We’ll take a short break from posting about tethers and tether strength to let everyone know the latest news from the KC Space Pirates;
We still are waiting for a venue and date for the competition. It is currently slated for Feb-March 2009 and I know that Spaceward and others are working hard to get it nailed down.
A film crew was in town this weekend to get an overview of the space elevator and catch some of our testing. This is for a show called “Space Pioneers” that is supposed to air around June 2009 on the Science Channel. The presenter was Dr. Basil Singer from “Project Earth” http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/project-earth/task-force/task-force.html. It was nice chatting with Basil about our system without the veil of secrecy that we usually have. If the competition gets delayed past June then we might be in trouble.
Just to make it more interesting I accidentally crashed the climber while demonstrating for the team members on the day before the video shoot. It fell about 15 ft to our concrete driveway and damaged the motor among other things. We repaired the motor and bench tested it. When someone asked me if I wanted to do a climb test with it, I answered no because I did not want to crash it again that late in the day. We can add this to the long line of bad calls that I have made as captain. The next day, with the cameras rolling and a dozen or so crew members watching, the motor just grunted pathetically instead of climbing for the sky. At this point we only have various speeds and sizes of motors and not any direct spares. But in about 20 min we were able to swap out most of the drive system and get it running pretty good. We will see if they are merciful in the editing.
The exercise let us capture a lot of performance data that will help us tune the climber for the competition. Other parts of our system are progressing well enough. We have only one critical issue that is looking to be expensive to fix. It also will take time so we can’t let up now.
KC Space Pirates
Thanks for the update Brian. It’s true that Spaceward is working very hard to nail down the venue and time. It IS getting closer to being finalized and we’re hoping for March (I think you can forget about February). I know it’s been a real PITA (for everyone), but there has been progress…
And yes, everyone, I haven’t been posting much lately – and I’m sorry for that. I do have several posts nearly ready to go, so the output should increase over the next several days…