The LLC teams had a conference call Sunday at 11am PST to discuss the 2008 schedule. I asked if I could blog about it and was told that I should wait until close of business Monday.
Its Monday and I have not heard otherwise so here is what I know:
The Xprize team is trying very hard to keep the original October 24/25 date. They are currently planning to hold the event at the Las Cruces airport, the same location as the 2006 event. This involves a change in the pad distances and a whole bunch of new coordination. It will be a real rush to get this done in the next 25 days.
When the event was originally delayed I’d been a tad relieved, now that it is back on for the same date I have a boat load of work to do. I could not sleep last night so I got up at 2:30 and started writing. I wrote up a bunch of items to e-mail my FAA contacts and had several follow up phone conversations with them today. They noted with some amusement and possibly concern that my E-mails to them were at 8:30 PM on the 28th and 4:04 am on the 29th.
I’ve just finished revising my experimental permit application to reflect:
- The Change in Venue
- The Change in pad distances (50 to 100M)
- The changes in the vehicle (Switch from leg tanks to sphere tank etc..)
- Changes in operational procedures that have matured with the recent testing.
- Changes in the order of things accomplished in flight tests.
- Documentation of verification items completed.
I will publish the revised document when the project is complete this year. (I will also publish all the software schematics, and what detailed design notes I have at the same time.)
Now that the vehicle is flying my son is in the process of taking all the spare parts and building a duplicate. As the Armadilo guys told me don’t get too attached to your vehicle you will eventually loose one. Its a hard thing to face and with the upcomming free to altitude (55m) untethered flight comming up its a bit scary. However we did not build a mueum peice, we built a flight vehicle and when it is eventually lost thats part of the game. See the last flying vehicle I designed from scratch:Solar Splinter I’d still be working on that project if the FloMetrics guys had not gotten me hooked on rockets. Thanks Steve and Carl! I still have my rare stash of 20% efficent bare back contact solar cells and will some day do that one again.