Monday, February 23, 2015

Fundamental Exploration Technologies

In 1997 I was lucky to be asked aboard John F Haslett's sailing raft expedition, replicating native Ecuadorean sailing vessels of the first quarter of the 16th Century AD, as described by Spanish conquistadores. I was put in charge of designing and building the sails, 742 square feet of native cotton reinforced by heavy hemp bolt-ropes around the perimeter, and hand-stitched at various stress points with massive needles and artificial sinew. Here we were replicating and then sailing, for nearly 1,000 miles up the coast of Pacific South America, one of humanity's fundamental exploring technologies, the sailing vessel. Today, I work on a rather different fundamental technology, one that allows even exploration by humanity beyond the boundaries of the Earth's atmosphere. Drawing posted here shows essential designs, I will be releasing larger, high-res versions of these through the Spring and into Winter.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Intensive Sleeve Work Week

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Tonight worked on checking out the balloon burners for their overhaul; very interesting, I don't know anything about metal, but will enjoy learning how to work with it! First, a good cleaning with metal cleaning compound, then an inspection by magnifying lens for cracks, other signs of fatigue etc., pressure and flow testing and finally an FAA airworthiness inspection and certificate. Also today new potential team member Tanner sat in the capsule simulator using the new communication system, a grip-button Push-to-Talk that finally gives us flawless communications; I walked him through a few of the electrical systems while talking to him on the radio from down the street; all clear comms at long last! We also finished epoxying in lines (gas, comms, biomedical, electrical) into a new abdomen port and a new helmet port. Pressure test some time this week! Tomorrow morning a radio interview, I'll post it here when it airs.