Saturday, April 10, 2010

Space Access 2010 - Masten Space / Dave Masten

Ben Brockert started off talking about their experience in winning the Lunar Launch prize. He showed a picture of their two rockets. Here is a video of the flight:

Here are some of the principles they run by:

1) He says one of their strategies is to plan to fail. Most people plan to win, and doesn’t work out, especially with hard things. They normally land with in 20cm of where they want to, part of the problem is the rocket bounces when it lands.

Showed a timeline. They signed up for more than one window, but it worked out. Robust makes reusable.

2) They also fail to be normal. They are open with anyone who is interested. They give full access with little supervision to whatever seems right on a million dollar rocket. Welcome people to watch testgs.

They had a leaking fuel tank, they scrambled

3) Fail to be original. They learned from others. They used a lot of off the shelf stuff.

4) Fail early, fail often. Trying to have a rapid learning cycle. He had a long list of ways not to make landing gear tubes.

Dave Masten took over. They are concentrating on small payloads. They have a second generation engine. It has about 150 to 1000 pound thrust. Won the Lunar Lander first level, second place, and the Lunar Lander second level, first place.

They showed a bunch of videos. They had their first flight last year. There were several short videos.

They use a GPS system. They showed a video of a rocket hovering in 30 knot winds, with gusts to 45. The rocket just stayed there. The rocket flies via a script markup language that Ian created.

The electrical system is powered by batteries.

Currently working on creating Brutus, It looks like a rocket, with a shell on the outside, tanks and stuff on the inside. Plans for 2010:
1) Want to fly Brutus to 100,000 feet
2) Working on a 3000 pound thrust engine
3) Hoping that by the end of the year hoping to fly to 100 km.

Dave says they are growing the company. He is working on some deals, he can’t talk about anything right now. They may grow an operation unit.

They are willing to sell the engines they have developed.

They are looking at doing the nano satellite business. Don’t expect to be in orbit in two years, or taking people into space in two years.

The full agenda for Space Access 2010, with links

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