[Space] spacebridge

Mikolaj Habryn dichro at rcpt.to
Mon Dec 21 07:02:36 UTC 2009

Fantastic first meeting! About a dozen people attended, and we were
all too busy talking to take minutes.

Jonathan's observation - easily pulling together a group of people
with enthusiasm for the subject and discovering so many tendrils into
related industry and non-professional areas, not only from the
attendees but from the other people generally hanging around in the
area, is what makes hackerspaces so awesome.

General consensus is that balloon launches are a great place to start
economically and aspirationally, graduating to long-endurance balloons
that can survive at altitude for days/weeks/months, and doing
something cool with it (like laser pointers and DLPs to draw the
noisebridge logo on clouds around the world).

Retroactive minutes are in wave, subject to revision, and if ops
respond favourably to my humble request for the appropriate plugin,
will shortly appear on the wiki, but here's a snapshot for the moment:


* hybrid (eg rubber + nox) rockets
  * non-explosive!
    * (well, *less* explosive)
  * rockets in general
    * 15,000 feet trivially (probably unlicensed); 100,000 feet
possible ($25k rocket), 400,000 feet planned
introductions (I don't remember the details, sorry - please add your
own as appropriate!)
  * Mikolaj: ready to supply ideas, enthusiasm and comic relief. No
useful competence to speak of.
  * Lisa: (enthusiasm)
  * Ariel: worked at NASA knows everybody that knows anybody, started
spacehack.org + (enthusiasm)
  * Brian: (enthusiasm + math/physics?)
  * Jonathan: had no idea there was a meeting, gets excited anyway,
particularly about hybrid rockets
  * Christie: EE, computery person into robotics and stuff (Space geek)
  * Andreas: (mild enthusiasm)
  * Sam: Tech writer for NASA in the past, Space Tourism enthusiast,
very knowledgeable, dapper hat, way impressive rolodex (but didn't
slap Richard Branson when he had the chance)
  * Miloh: is all about the balloon building, wants to see launch
plans for early spring.
  * Kelly: wants nothing to do with us, but has an excellent mother
who should meet us next week
  * Todd: launches rockets for fun, does balloon kites, works for
sofcoast who build commercial helium(?) aerostats and could help lots
with related practicalities
  * Adam: rockets + ham radio background, launched at altamon
satellite payloads
  * tube/can/cube-sats
  * $8k launch for cube-sat (potentially; not well proven
  * pong-sat (with gerbil)
space tourism
  * sam has ideas about running talks on the subject at noisebridge
  * could potentially interest people from jpaerospace and others to present
  * good industrial design ideas for zero-grav could lead to
experimental flights on the vomit comet ((r), (tm) nasa) - "parabolic
flight experience"
long-endurance balloons
  * $30 balloon, $80 helium, hydrogen?
  * Materials:
    * possibly getting fabrics from Todd's company donated?
    * What fabrics used? Latex? (latex for weather balloons, can be
treated to lower helium permeability; aluminized mylar used in r/c
blimps; mikolaj's experience is that they stay at least partially
inflated for 2-3 weeks)
    * Seams and sealing: Sewing? Gluing?
  * interesting payloads:
    * optical observation - telescopes (will lenses still refract
correctly at 1% of atmospheric pressure?), ccds will have lower
thermal noise due to lower temperature, higher radiation noise
    * fractional distillation - atmospheric still! (to resupply gas in
the envelope?)
spin tiny payloads on tether to (orbital?) velocity
    * laser pointers to draw on clouds
  * power
    * gammavoltaics!
    * wind power? difficult if floating with wind, but you could maybe
drop a surface on a tether far enough to be in a different air current
and generate power/steer from there
 * telemetry
    * too high for cdma/gsm
    * HF ham stuff can reach a long way but takes lots of power
with good enough buoyancy control, could dip down to 3g altitudes,
download, re-ascend
    * otherwise taking pictures requires payload recovery
    * commercial gps have anti-cruise-missile code that kicks in at
altitude and speed limits, but can do a gps receiver in gnuradio (!)
  * stability
    * single balloons seem to spin lots
    * can do multiple balloons - jpaerospace have a standardized rig
for odd numbers of balloons
    * launch a rocket from the middle of a set of balloons - 'rockoon'
    * jpaerospace has a plan for a smaller more robust balloon to 140k
feet; then transfer to a giant mile-scale balloon that couldn't
survive ground-level weather to transfer to (near?) orbit

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