Author Topic: Masten Space Systems Update  (Read 255593 times)

Offline jongoff

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #20 on: 05/08/2009 07:54 PM »
MSS just had its first successful VTVL tethered flight today.  Video here:



We'll be looking over the data, making a couple tweaks to the vehicle (including improving the pressurant bottle attachment structure and the wifi mounting) and the controller code, and should hopefully back out again on Tuesday or Wednesday.

I'll probably be doing a more detailed blog update next week.

~Jon

Offline jongoff

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #21 on: 05/21/2009 01:13 AM »
FWIW, we got another two test flights off today, and hopefully will be trying out our an aluminum regen chamber for our first time tomorrow.  If we can get the aluminum engine to reach thermal steady-state, it should allow us to build much lighter and cheaper engines, and open up some manufacturing options for potentially *very* light weight engines and nozzles.



~Jon

Offline Swatch

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #22 on: 05/21/2009 01:49 AM »
Good luck on the aluminum engines!  I know that this is a stumbling block for many designs, and would be a great step ahead in engine design and fabrication!
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Offline jongoff

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #23 on: 05/21/2009 02:18 AM »
Good luck on the aluminum engines!  I know that this is a stumbling block for many designs, and would be a great step ahead in engine design and fabrication!

Well, we have a second aluminum engine that we can modify if this one doesn't quite make it.  But there's historical precedent with both the Bell Agena engine, and an engine done by the Swiss Propulsion Lab that was of very similar construction to the one we'll be testing.  The SPL engine was about the same thrust level, and about 50% higher pressure.  So hopefully we're golden.

For the other manufacturing process, if we can make the process work reliably, it should be much easier to make the thermal part of the design work reliably (even at much higher pressure than we'll ever be screwing with).

~Jon

Offline jongoff

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #24 on: 05/21/2009 09:39 PM »
Good luck on the aluminum engines!  I know that this is a stumbling block for many designs, and would be a great step ahead in engine design and fabrication!

Well, we have a second aluminum engine that we can modify if this one doesn't quite make it.  But there's historical precedent with both the Bell Agena engine, and an engine done by the Swiss Propulsion Lab that was of very similar construction to the one we'll be testing.  The SPL engine was about the same thrust level, and about 50% higher pressure.  So hopefully we're golden.

For the other manufacturing process, if we can make the process work reliably, it should be much easier to make the thermal part of the design work reliably (even at much higher pressure than we'll ever be screwing with).

~Jon

Just got back from firing the aluminum engine (should we call it the "Aluminum Falcon"?) 7 times.  Max duration was 21 seconds, and it looks like we may have steady stated.  Not out of the woods yet, but things look very promising. 

~Jon

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #25 on: 05/22/2009 02:22 AM »
Just got back from firing the aluminum engine (should we call it the "Aluminum Falcon"?) 7 times.

Only if you want to be confused with SpaceX.

Offline kch

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #26 on: 05/22/2009 02:35 AM »

Just got back from firing the aluminum engine (should we call it the "Aluminum Falcon"?) 7 times.  Max duration was 21 seconds, and it looks like we may have steady stated.  Not out of the woods yet, but things look very promising. 

~Jon

Gotta "Han" it to you (yes, I know it's not a "Solo" effort, but still ...) -- promising indeed!  :)

Offline jongoff

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #27 on: 05/22/2009 05:47 AM »

Just got back from firing the aluminum engine (should we call it the "Aluminum Falcon"?) 7 times.  Max duration was 21 seconds, and it looks like we may have steady stated.  Not out of the woods yet, but things look very promising. 

~Jon

Gotta "Han" it to you (yes, I know it's not a "Solo" effort, but still ...) -- promising indeed!  :)

Bonus points for anyone who recognizes the Star Wars parody that name comes from.

~Jon

Offline Jose

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #28 on: 05/22/2009 04:29 PM »
Bonus points for anyone who recognizes the Star Wars parody that name comes from.

~Jon


WTH is an aluminum falcon?


EDIT: Some like quotes; some others don't.
« Last Edit: 05/22/2009 10:16 PM by Jose »

Offline jongoff

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #29 on: 05/22/2009 10:10 PM »
Bonus points for anyone who recognizes the Star Wars parody that name comes from.

~Jon


WTH is an aluminum falcon?





Bingo!  We have a winner.

On a more serious note, we got two more flights off today, and are going out to do some more aluminum falcon firings.

~Jon

Offline robertross

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #30 on: 05/23/2009 12:02 AM »

Just got back from firing the aluminum engine (should we call it the "Aluminum Falcon"?) 7 times.  Max duration was 21 seconds, and it looks like we may have steady stated.  Not out of the woods yet, but things look very promising. 

~Jon

Finally getting around to these other threads ( so much in so little time), and found a new engine builder. An aluminum engine design, that's just too cool. Of couse, that's one of the benefits of using aluminum over stainless/exotic alloy: a great heat conductor. So with regen, all that heat is just soaked away.  Neat.

If they ever design a medical frigate...lol  ;)
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Offline jongoff

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #31 on: 05/23/2009 01:55 AM »

Just got back from firing the aluminum engine (should we call it the "Aluminum Falcon"?) 7 times.  Max duration was 21 seconds, and it looks like we may have steady stated.  Not out of the woods yet, but things look very promising. 

~Jon

Finally getting around to these other threads ( so much in so little time), and found a new engine builder. An aluminum engine design, that's just too cool. Of couse, that's one of the benefits of using aluminum over stainless/exotic alloy: a great heat conductor. So with regen, all that heat is just soaked away.  Neat.

If they ever design a medical frigate...lol  ;)

Well, it looks like the firings for today went well too (I was too fried after this morning's test flights, so I was back in the shop working on the next engine design).  8 firings in about a 10 minute space, last one for over 60 seconds, max recorded temperature in the chamber wall was barely warm enough to boil water.  :-)

I wish I had been out there, but was a little heat exhausted from being out all morning flying the vehicle twice.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 05/23/2009 01:57 AM by jongoff »

Offline mlorrey

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #32 on: 05/23/2009 06:13 AM »

Just got back from firing the aluminum engine (should we call it the "Aluminum Falcon"?) 7 times.  Max duration was 21 seconds, and it looks like we may have steady stated.  Not out of the woods yet, but things look very promising. 

~Jon

Gotta "Han" it to you (yes, I know it's not a "Solo" effort, but still ...) -- promising indeed!  :)

Bonus points for anyone who recognizes the Star Wars parody that name comes from.

~Jon

That would have to be the Aluminium Falcon, with a brit accent....
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Offline jongoff

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #33 on: 05/23/2009 05:02 PM »

Just got back from firing the aluminum engine (should we call it the "Aluminum Falcon"?) 7 times.  Max duration was 21 seconds, and it looks like we may have steady stated.  Not out of the woods yet, but things look very promising. 

~Jon

Gotta "Han" it to you (yes, I know it's not a "Solo" effort, but still ...) -- promising indeed!  :)

Bonus points for anyone who recognizes the Star Wars parody that name comes from.

~Jon

That would have to be the Aluminium Falcon, with a brit accent....

Ironically enough, in spite of being a definite Yank, that's how I pronounce it.  :-)

Of course, it's actually a little closer to a Mr Burns accent.  "Excellent Smithers...we fired and aluminium engine."

~Jon

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #34 on: 05/23/2009 05:28 PM »
Of course, there's more aluminu... alumini... - oh, heck, Al - in a Pegasus motor than in one of Dave an Jon's engines... (hint: this is a trick question  ::) ).
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Offline kkattula

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #35 on: 05/23/2009 05:57 PM »
Of course, there's more aluminu... alumini... - oh, heck, Al - in a Pegasus motor than in one of Dave an Jon's engines... (hint: this is a trick question  ::) ).

But I bet you're not trying to keep it cool...

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #36 on: 05/23/2009 06:25 PM »
Of course, there's more aluminu... alumini... - oh, heck, Al - in a Pegasus motor than in one of Dave an Jon's engines... (hint: this is a trick question  ::) ).
Pegasus has a solid rocket motor, right? Therefore, the fuel has ...
« Last Edit: 05/23/2009 06:28 PM by wjbarnett »
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Offline antonioe

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #37 on: 05/23/2009 06:57 PM »
... aluminuminiummm; the first stage alone has over 3,000 lb of Al.
« Last Edit: 05/23/2009 07:06 PM by antonioe »
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline pippin

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #38 on: 05/24/2009 12:32 AM »
But it'n not an engine...

Offline jongoff

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Re: Masten Space Systems Update
« Reply #39 on: 05/24/2009 04:51 AM »
Of course, there's more aluminu... alumini... - oh, heck, Al - in a Pegasus motor than in one of Dave an Jon's engines... (hint: this is a trick question  ::) ).

Heh.  Probably true, but generally speaking, if our aluminium burns, we consider it a bad day.  :-)

~Jon

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