NO MORE KIDDIE CAD
Returning from Arizona landed us in the mundane unpacking and getting settled in. I love having endless hot water instead of a splash and dash in the trailer. We have a few threats of getting paid looming out there now. Dang; I might have to get out of bed and go to work!
Well we delivered blueprints and parts and materials to the model builder in Arizona. Well the blueprints were a dash to the deadline. We had some bugs in the CAD software on the way there. We used this tool for ten years so they have done a lot of support along the way. As more tools and powers are added it must be a challenge to keep things working.
I have a little suspicion that software developers are all having trouble with Windows 8. Could a secret agent be working within Microsoft to advance Linux? The CAD program is not the only one going weird. Programs crash, and some opening folders causes the desktop to crash. I have been trying other design software tools considering a change. Even the operating system is a candidate for change if a CAD tool will run on Linux.
When I have deadlines to meet I am extremely intolerant of computer bugs that become totally fatal to the project. I have no time to help software developers when I am being charged “maintenance” that will not be delivered until the next release. So I tested the higher priced tools.
One has been and still is obtuse for most users. Another is functional but destined for a big revision soon. That firm made a change to their high priced tool a few years back, and the transition didn’t please all of their customers. Those top design tools cost about $30,000 so I have not seen one since my employment for big firms. I miss the function of Siemens NX.
NX was USED BY McDonnell Douglas, General Motors, and many major firms. Formerly known as Unigraphics it is the sensible but unaffordable tool for design engineering. I would despair of having these tools in ordinary times. These are not ordinary times.
Perhaps the mid priced CAD tool from Siemens may be struggling to compete in some ways. Perhaps this is why Siemens is offering a bargain priced version of NX. I heard an unbelievable price from my former boss and it checked out. I will run a 60 day free trial, but I expect I will be ready to throw money at them pretty quick.
While waiting for the NX trial I am doing some new feasibility studies for other ventures. I hope to deliver some interesting concepts in a timely manner. I did get a lot of components ready for use. A new vehicle concept was taking shape when the CAD software went nuts. For now I can’t create any new parts or re-name old ones. We are dead in space.
The tech support was fast to respond, but it is still time consuming and we are stopped in the middle of a project. So in a couple of days I will welcome the trial seat of NX. The big decision now will be whether to venture into Linux operating system. My desktop will be entirely off the internet and isolated from Chinese and NSA reviews. Sorry boys!
Does anyone have any views on Linux use? NX can run on it so I will only need a few other tools on the desktop computer. If it works out I may cleanse my life of Microsoft Windows-hate. (aggravate, irritate, overrate)
Well we are home, and the wheels are resting in their roost.
BACK IN HER NEST
SEE THE CHANGE? SNOW!!
WHERE DID ALL THOSE PALM TREES GO?
HEY…I RESEMBLE THAT REMARK!
LOW END CAD WORKS…AT TIMES
BUT MORE EXPENSIVE TOOLS TEMPT WITH FANCY RENDERING
LITTLE JOBS ON THE SIDE…VENDOR PARTS COLLECTION
WHAT IS IT? the ultimate hair dryer?
…A POOR IMAGE OF THIS
WHICH IS THE POWER FOR MOST OF AMERICAS ROCKETS…
A RUSSIAN ROCKET ENGINE.
Perhaps new space initiatives can rescue space from government red tape. It seems to be turning into a world effort lately. American rockets with Russian engines, an international space station, perhaps we can have a Federation of Planets.
I am letting my in-ine staging take a slow track while helping others get their visions airborne. You can follow our interest in airborne access to space on our horizontal launch blog: http://horizontalspace.wordpress.com/
WE HAVE A NEW HORIZONTAL LAUNCH ADVOCACY GROUP:
WINGS TO SPACE is a forum for the advancement of horizontal launch methods and projects. We have a post this week from David Ashford of Bristol Spaceplanes. There are a few groups pursuing this approach as it offers unique advantages. Follow our blog here:
Retro rockets firing for Wyoming reentry, departing Friday. I am packing to return from Arizona to Wyoming until April. I hope to be back to see progress on the construction of our flight test model here in Apache Junction. But for now I have to wrap my internet work and fold up the satellite dish. The big trailer will be stored in Arizona to save gas and travel time. Motel 6 has a light on for me!
We got some things done in these three months:
- Discussions with a Colorado firm for possible relocation to Wyoming and collaboration
- Blueprints and materials delivered to the model builder
- Maintenance to the travel trailer and the cargo trailer
- Auto maintenance and repairs
- Medical and veterinary checks
- Retail opportunities in the big city
- Investigating real estate investments
- Initiated a new project to build an aerodynamic off-road travel trailer
- Purchased an aluminum trailer as the foundation of said trailer build
- Tested possible new CAD systems and identified a probable winner
- Got out on the trails for health and recreation again
HOME SWEET ROAM
HOME IS WHERE YOU HANG YOUR HAT
ONE LAST LOOK…
AT THE SUPERSTITION TRAILS
AND DOGGY TAILS!
SAY GOODBYE TO ARIZONA FRIENDS
AND PREPARE TO LAUNCH AGAIN.
THE CONFERENCE IS CANCELLED!
I HAD A PROPOSAL: Before the Space Access 2014 Conference in Phoenix this April, why don’t we invite the stars of new space to meet the stars of Hollywood in a place where one can really see Mars? Unfortunately Space Access 2014 is cancelled because of important business pending for the conference manager Henry Vanderbilt. http://www.space-access.org/updates/sau134.html SO LET’S DO A PLACEHOLDER EVENT THIS YEAR!
There is a place near Phoenix where one can not only see Mars in the dark sky, but the campsite is pretty close to an off-world experience too. But getting there is the best part of the adventure…are you ready to boldly go? From Apache Junction Arizona take the Apache Trail north. Not that many miles, but it will take about three hours to drive it, so leave early! And leave your long trailers and motor homes behind too!
CARS CAN MAKE IT OK…WITH A LITTLE EFFORT!
JUST SQUEEZE BY!
ENJOY THE VIEW…IT GETS BETTER
TOP OF THE CANYON
BUT NOT THE SHORT-CUT!
I CAN SEE THE TUNNEL AT THE END OF THE LIGHT!
LOOKING BACK…WE WERE THERE??
(And you get to go BACK that way too!)
THE LAKE AT LAST!
BURNT CORRAL CAMPGROUND
NEVER LET THE ROCKET GUYS…
LIGHT THE BARBEQUE!
GETTING WARM …
AS EVENING MOVES IN
GRILLIN ON THE UP-CHUCK WAGON!
COFFEE, STEAK, AND BEANS FOR THE SPACE COWBOYS!
DARK SKIES ARRIVE
ALONG WITH A LITTLE RED STAR…MARS!
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 at 06:54 MDT …T MINUS 99 AND COUNTING!
Mars’s orbit around the Sun will carry it to its closest point to the Earth – its perigee – passing within 0.62 AU of us. Since the size and brightness of Mars in the night sky both increase when it is close to us, the days around its perigee represent the best time to observe it. http://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id=20140414_14_100
NEWS FLASH…ADD A FULL LUNAR ECLIPSE! http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/event-view.cfm?Event_ID=52269
If my cheap digital camera can get this, any decent lens or telescope will get you a great view of the “Fourth Rock From The Sun”. But wait till you see the galactic rim…the “Milky Way” in the desert sky.
Well camping isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but only Captain Picard drank that stuff anyway! If you want to enjoy the early evening and go home that will be fine too. Just remember you have three hours of Apache trail ahead of you…in the dark!
HEY: I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WITH IDEAS HERE. I am up for a “space flash mob” or dining out in Phoenix too. The Landmark in Mesa http://www.landmarkrestaurant.com/ and Dirtwater Springs in Apache Junction http://www.dirtwatersprings.com/ are fun dining spots. Goldfield http://www.goldfieldghosttown.com/ is a western town and show just north of Apache Junction on your way up the Apache Trail. Did “Firefly” inspire any “Space Cowboys”?
So don’t sit around moping about the Space Access 2014 or attend the imposter in Europe…put in your own ideas! David Luther email@example.com
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,500 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.
NO LAUGHING MATTER
Well I am not the only one building a new transportation module…
You may not all be aware of my other blogs. I venture off the planet a bit in my other blog: http://spiritspacecadet.wordpress.com/ I recently proposed a media adventure to explore the human factors of a long space voyage. Great space fantasies are fun, but real space adventures are coming in the near future. There won’t be any encounters more alien than the human sharing the ride with you either!
Do we really know our friends before we share a room with them, or get married to them? There should be room for a little humor, but also for real issues as well. It will take some kind of faith to trust a few souls to share your life in total isolation with no turning back. Perhaps religion is not your crutch, but what do you lean on when the rug is pulled out from under you?
Already the technology and even the destination are hotly debated. Do we go back to the moon, the space station, or press on to Mars? Do we use several small rockets to assemble a vehicle on orbit, or use one huge budget wrecking monster rocket? There are some strong groups forming now who can roll past the petty arguments and produce results. I have met many builders at Space Access conferences in Phoenix and in my travels for business.
The Golden Spike Company and Mars One are highly qualified teams with big dreams. Elon Musk and Spacex are surpassing NASA efforts at light speed. But even these well credentialed teams are not known by the general public. The public knows Captain Kirk though. Science fiction may be more understood than science reality. We are nearly at the point of departure; we are leaving the planet…now!
So we have a lot of power moving ahead without all the potential support and understanding that could be available. Voters don’t even know how congress is funding a long string of failed space concepts at NASA. Pork barrel interests have had NASA derailed for decades. Private ventures are providing far more useful solutions at much lower costs now. But what are we doing to support the producers, the movers and the shakers?
I want to get involved with the Golden Spike Company first because they may be able to offer manufacturing capacity on the Moon to build deep space vehicles. This would be far easier than launching assemblies from the earth’s gravity. It also offers low gravity so your tools will fall to the ground instead of becoming dangerous space debris! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/16/jim-lovell-apollo-13-joins-golden-spike_n_3286627.html
Perhaps it is silly to consider a comedy-drama trip to Mars as I proposed, because teams want serious treatment. However, really good storytelling can ignite the fires of innovation. A little humor should be in any good tale. Star Wars and Star Trek both allowed a little comic relief in their grand story lines. A lot of science has come out of “Star Trek” and many creative people find their inspiration there. A trip to the Moon or Mars will stretch technology and human relations. We can also remember that the beginnings of Moon exploration also carried a spiritual reminder. This trip presents a lot to think about.
I can see opportunities for media to aid the development of space exploration. Early on there are many teams building actual hardware for missions. Mars One is commissioning a probe, and the Golden Spike Company called on Northrop Grumman to propose a Lunar Lander. Actually there are many smaller groups doing real research in this direction now. I have already taken a small tour of new space ventures with my trailer. This blog goes back two years to the first steps of my own venture. There is a lot of great science shaping up today.
NORTHROP GRUMMAN POD FOR GOLDEN SPIKE…smaller than my trailer!
An educational program might visit the many teams and do interviews in the actual new space world. At times these venues are pretty great visual experiences too. Rocket tests in the Mojave Desert are fun, and the scenery changes as the sun sets into a dark sky starscape. Some ventures are in mundane surroundings, but their toys are surreal in themselves.
SCALED COMPOSITES WHITE KNIGHT
Educational interviews are informative, but they don’t have to be boring. Myth Busters and the Science Guy can work this pretty good, so it is possible. But more is possible as well. Why stop with reality? We don’t have to venture into silly fantasies to envision what may be coming in the near future.
SMALL BUT REAL FLIGHT HARDWARE
If we interview a real space venture in a stimulating environment one might fade to a projection of things to come in the near future. Based on these team’s visions, what might the human experience be on the real mission? Can a good film team help put together a short dramatization based on the proposed technologies? What happens when the human factors meet a few unexpected events? A flight simulator program often has the instructors throw a mechanical issue at the pilot and crew. A long range deep space mission could have a few human factors as well. After all, even NASA had one love triangle issue. But they had some real drama in technology as well. Want some material? http://waynehale.wordpress.com/
If you watch “Vikings” you will see the human behavior that inspired the pattern for Klingons. We don’t need aliens in our story, we are aliens! When humans leave the earth, they will export all the drama of recorded history with them. I hope there aren’t any unsuspecting aliens on their path! The creative writing of “Mash” and “Northern Exposure” show some of the relationships that can be both serious and humorous at the same time. I wouldn’t even object to having a “Devious Maid” on board…we could handle one (illegal?) alien!
PAUL BREED AND TEST ROCKET
Can you offer a reality interview and fade to a fun projection in the same format? Let the rocket guys contribute ideas…they’re “Trekkies” too! “MASH” was actually covering a very serious topic during the Vietnam war. Rocket guys have a sense of humor, but it can look at other issues as well. Celebrities are getting in trouble every day for remarks and opinions. The real people who go to the Moon may be a little like the people who settled the American west and Alaska. Perhaps some will be trying to leave their past behind them. Others may be bringing their issues along to share later in the trip. It could turn out to be a real trip!
BILL COLBURN WITH A LITTLE “MINI” HYBRID MOTOR
If the real builders offer their vision of the voyage ahead we should respect their technology enough not to get silly with it. I don’t think we really need to show the astronaut in “Victoria’s Secret” attire if they should be in protective gear. It may be interesting to consider what happens if there is a fly inside your helmet when you seal it up though. I recall hearing about a pilot getting permission to eat a spider trapped inside his helmet!
TOO MUCH TOPOL TOPOGRAPHY? no wonder they call him “Trip”!
(Btw this did NOT save the series, though it was better than the bare buts on “NYPD Blue”)
There is room to consider the potential for drama as well. Radiation and meteorite collisions are fuel for real crisis. Apollo 13 couldn’t pull in to a gas station on their vacation trip. There will have to be some solutions pre-positioned on the way to Mars. Ancient sailing ships carried tools and timbers to rebuild masts if needed. Your technology interviews can build a scenario for the storyline based on their projection of real solutions. One might do interviews followed by a fictional projection, or take many contributions towards a spin-off with reasonable story telling in very real technologies.
GETTING SOME HANDS ON TRAINING FROM BILL COLBURN ON THE MINI
Living in small spaces is a challenge anywhere. Small spaces in space are full of challenges. My parents lived in a trailer in Arizona until mom said to dad: “You’re breathing my air”. Keeping the technology working was a challenge on my trailer travels as well. But at least I could have an “Extra Vehicular Activity” by taking a walk with the dog. Great scenery and fresh air is an earth specialty. I am confident that builders and writers can make a grand adventure story that bridges today with tomorrow; Science Fact.
This is a symbiotic relationship like “Dax” and her “Trill”. The great ventures need workers and donors. They are becoming real commerce, and they are making new jobs in a slow economy. Success stories like “Spacex” may rescue us from being a non-space faring nation as we are since the Shuttle was grounded. They are making the dream affordable again. We need to support new space and education is needed. Dry education like the NASA television channel will not do the job. Check this discussion out:
Are you looking for an educator who is known by the public for very human portrayals on television? How about one who is also known for his deep interest in science education? Did I mention “MASH” previously? Alan Alda is already deeply rooted in science education!
MOJAVE DARK SKIES
So grab your remote and tune in our space program to meet another real rocket science team. They have a different hobby, but they still have their feet on the ground…so far at least! A team of experts like Xcor might grant us an interview with their own dream bird in the nest with us. Their hanger must be a cool place. Take the interview out to the engine test site, and grill some steaks as the sun sets. Now the campfire discussion moves to their vision of the journey ahead. We discuss some situational topics for the storytellers. Script writers are bouncing ideas off the team as the stars climb in the night sky.
DESERT DINING WITH DON
Now we fade to a future crew experience tale based on the campfire imaginations brewed that night. We may be in the actual flight craft, or in a simulation of their vision of a distant future technology. Real issues and responses can be based on actual knowledge and pilot flight experiences. What will happen when flight rates increase and new adventures unfold on each flight?
MOJAVE DREAMS: XCOR LYNX COCKPIT VIEW
As we catch our breath from the night flight (of fantasy) we can smell the coffee before the morning or actual rocket testing. I take my cot off the blast bunker where I slept under the stars. Cameras are ready and the engine test is in the final countdown…5,4,3,2,1, ignition!
MOJAVE BLAST OFF BREW
OFF TO THE FUTURE…195?
I grew up with the book that featured this image and all the anticipation it represented. It has not come into being in our time but don’t think it hasn’t been seriously considered in our time. Horizontal launch with a boosted rail is still being dusted off; the dream is still alive.
NASA PROPOSAL IN 2010
AND CAN WE FORGET…EXODUS AEROSPACE!
OK; THIS MY PERSONAL SELF PROMOTION!
I am proposing a study to find interest from production people and fun ventures with real hardware visions. One group did a few episodes of Mars fun and may still have a little interest along with their extensive credentials: http://watchsolo.com/
I will be at Space Access 1014 in Phoenix this April. Dates and locations will be announced soon. Don’t confuse this with the international convention of the same name. We are much more affordable and still draw top talent in the USA. http://www.space-access.org/
This is a great place to meet the movers in space while enjoying a casual environment with opportunities for meal chats and interviews. I may even invite some to meet at my trailer in the Tonto National Forest for a starry night cookout and interview. It would be a shame for everyone to come to Arizona and not see the dark sky universe!
My new project trailer will feature aluminum construction and built in computers for function and for atmosphere to dream by. The trailer is about the size of the Golden Spike lunar pods and will just fit a couple of folks and some equipment. The back can be opened up to allow camera angles of a crew in “flight”. Flat Screen TV on the front wall…”On screen Mr. Sulu!” Can we find California custom car builders to provide some hydraulic “rock and roll”?
In Wyoming the prairie winds may even allow the dream to take flight!
THIS AIN’T KANSAS TOTO!
(Red Rock Canyon Park Nevada, James T. Kirk is buried near here!)
TRAIL OF TEARS…DROPS
Teardrop trailers are an American tradition. From Wikipedia:
A teardrop trailer, also known as a teardrop camper trailer, is a streamlined, compact, lightweight] travel trailer, which gets its name from its teardrop profile. They usually only have sleeping space for two adults and often have a basic kitchen in the rear.
Teardrop trailers first became popular in the 1930s, when magazines such as Mechanix Illustrated published plans. The first teardrops were designed around the idea of using standard 4 by 8-foot sheets of plywood with hardwood spars. Teardrop trailers remained popular until the mid-1960s, after which they disappeared from mainstream camping. However, in the late 1990s, plans became available on the Internet and in recent years teardrop trailers have made a resurgence and are again growing in popularity.
A teardrop trailer is generally small, ranging from 4 feet (1.2 m) to 6 feet (1.8 m) in width and 8 feet (2.4 m) to 10 feet (3.0 m) in length. They are usually 4 feet (1.2 m) to 5 feet (1.5 m) in height. Wheels and tires are usually outside the body and are covered by fenders. Since teardrop trailers are so light, usually less than 1000 pounds (450 kg), just about any vehicle can tow one and fuel consumption is minimally affected.
There is room inside a teardrop trailer for two people to sleep, as well as storage for clothes and other items. Outside, in the rear under a hatch, there is usually a galley for cooking. Teardrop trailers tend to have lighting and other electrical power supplied by a storage battery, although some have mains power hookups like regular travel trailers.
Some teardrop trailer owners participate in organised camping events for teardrop trailers, called “gatherings”. The teardrop trailer phenomenon is not local to any one country. Builders reside throughout the Americas, Europe, Israel, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. In Australia they are known as teardrop campers. Their popularity has resulted in the establishment of several commercial manufacturing organisations, and in the import of some North American models. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teardrop_trailer
UH…WHERE DO I SLEEP IN THERE?
HEY…THE SILVERWARE DRAWER GOES UPSIDE DOWN EVERY TIME YOU FOLD UP?
THE IRON MAN WAY…A TENT ON WHEELS IN THE SNOW?
My little cargo trailer has a frame assembled from a Harbor Freight kit. It is adequate, but not very generous with room for traveling with all that gear. I would like to pull off on jeep trails in the national forests for free overnight camping on long trips. But I don’t want to lay on the floor and stick my feet right out in the snow in the morning. I need room to sit on a real bed!
The steel Harbor Freight trailers are a little narrow for a good floor plan. My earlier plans considered re-using the little trailer, but I found a great replacement. Aluma makes an 8 foot ATV hauler with great ground clearance for trails. Aluminum means only 700 lbs. of trailer that can carry 1,800 lbs. of cargo. Being tall, it needs no wheel well openings so it offers a wide flat floor to build on. It is also the little brother of the 16 foot Aluma trailer I targeted for the big “Solaris” design. This will be a building block for the future.
So I bought the trailer, expecting to use the winter to do hardline design work on it. I have many trailer service vendors in Arizona to learn from. Back in Wyoming I can do the final design while fabrication can get started here while I am gone. So I am entering the creative challenge of the teardrop trailer, but It has to go off-road too. Most off road trailers are heavy steel units with few comforts. We can do on and off road better. So the design challenge is on!
A CHALLENGER IS BORN!
Smaller Faster, Cheaper!
We will need some assets, so the Singcore panels offer light weight and high strength. Aluminum is our friend unless the Wyoming wind takes over! We have high ground clearance and more headroom, so the trailer will be taller than most teardrops. Aerodynamics will be a big consideration in design.
An early concept of the design may look like these preliminary sketches. I am testing new computer design software for future use now. This comes from Solid Works, which may be needed for our aircraft designs. The trailer gives me a great project to learn new skills as we get ready for the next projects.
ROOM TO SIT UP IN BED AND STILL LOTS OF GROUND CLEARANCE
A COZY SNOW CAVE?
The cabinet will be a bit Spartan in aluminum finish, but I like the “space capsule” look. This prototype will be aimed at function and simplicity more than elegance. Our objective is to cover highway miles by day and have a fast set up for nights in the national forest. Free camping and good gas mileage still allow high speeds on the freeway. Winters in Colorado are no problem with a 12,000 BTU furnace and foam insulation.
Well Christmas 2013 brings new tools, new transporters, and new vision. The new year will bring even more revelations about the path of Exodus Aerospace…“We are leaving the planet”.