Monday, April 14, 2014

Do I even need a balloon?

This guy built an ionic lifter from balsawood and tin foil that was able to levitate a small, padded enclosure with a mouse inside. This would have to be scaled up considerably to support the basics that a small hamster needs to be comfortable for any length of time (water will be the real challenge due to weight) but if upon doing the math the size turns out to be reasonable, this might be a way to avoid having to deal with large balloons and pressurized helium altogether. A thin wire would send power up to the lifter and also serve as the mooring line. This may turn out to be more expense and hassle than it's worth but the way I see it, if I wanted to fly this more than once, doing it this way would spare me the steep recurring cost of new helium.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Rodent lab being sent to the ISS

"Are we making the best case that the space station is a critical asset for this nation? Are we maximizing scientific research there to the best extent that we can? In spring we’ll be launching the first rodent laboratory up to the station, and there will be a lot of exciting stuff going on."

I think their project probably costs substantially more than mine though. Speaking of which one of you donated $20. Many thanks, that'll be put into the helium fund. I'll ultimately need nearly $500 for that but every little bit helps. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Failure to launch.

Where I am, we're heading into a long unbroken several months of shitty overcast/rainy weather. Today was an unexpectedly clear, sunny day so rather than wait to add all the bells and whistles to Skyhab, I attempted an early launch.

That's as full as it ever got. I severely underestimated the amount of helium necessary. I will need around 5 tanks to fill it to the point where it will lift skyhab. The tanks are $45 each. I don't have that kind of money to spend on something like this, and there haven't been any donations in over a year. Consequently, project Space Hams is indefinitely postponed and most likely cancelled. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Camera mounted. Solar panels next.

Got the little camera on there. It's on one end of a counter weighted balsa wood truss. This way I can get footage of the habitat at altitude from about two feet away. Another down-facing camera will also be added to give a sense of height.

Next up, solar panels. I'll be using those little solar LED lights you pound into the dirt along a walkway that charge from sunlight during the day then power a little LED at night. A few of these will give skyhab interior lighting at night time. That should make for some neat exterior shots.

More to come.