There is cool and then there is Über-cool…

Here are some videos I took of the NSS qualification tests on the first day of testing (this past Monday).

This first video is just an intro shot of where we are and what is going to be happening.

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This second video is of the first test – the Reflectivity test.  You can see Ben Shelef (CEO of Spaceward – organizer of the Games) and John Piatt (NASA) checking the reflections.  A 4kw laser beam has been pointed straight up into the bottom of the Climber.  Ben and John are measuring the reflections downward from the Climber.  You can clearly see the laser beam as it is illuminating the bottom of the Climber.

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These next two videos show the Climber’s cooling system in action during the second test, the “Climber melt test”.  This test pours full power into the Climber for a time period equal to or exceeding the expected length of a climb to ensure that it can handle the load.  I misspoke on the first video, stating that the acetone was stored inside ‘plastic bags’ that were attached to the topside of the Climber.  Actually, there is a reservoir on top of the cells where the acetone sits.  When it heats and boils, the vapor forces itself upward into one of five plastic bags open at the bottom to the reservoir.  The acetone cools and then drips down to the reservoir to begin the cycle again.  You can clearly see the acetone boiling in both videos, especially around the edges of the cells.  In the first video, you can see the acetone condensing and running down the side of one of the outside bags.

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And in this final video, the NSS team is running the  “Optics melt test” and burning through some gypsum boards acting as a beam dump.  Jolly good fun!

One thought on “There is cool and then there is Über-cool…

  1. Pingback: More views of the NSS Testing… - The Space Elevator Blog

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