On 21th June 2004 the first private spaceship 'spaceship one' was launched and reached space. Burt Rutan's company scaled composites showed the world that a vision can come true and inspired by their great achievement I started working on my own spaceship.
the engine is a 9 liter pressure vessel made out of PET bottles
Today I started on a paper model. It should be big enough to launch my neighbor's dog with this one. It's a Pinscher and should be no problem.
I enlarged the volume of the pressure vessel by 3 liters so it's now 1.70 long and has a volume of 12l.
The wooden skeleton completed. Total size is now 220cm x 21 cm
The fins. This part is detachable for transport.
nosecone made out of balsa wood with room for parachute
Today I covered the fins with 1mm balsawood. Starting to look like a rocket..
hatch for the parachute compartment, in this compartment the little parachute for the nosecone is placed
The lower part of the rocket covered with aluminium. It actually turned out to heavy so I'll remove it.
The hook to which the big parachute will be connected.
Glued in some nuts to secure the removable fins with.
The dog whistle. The signal will be radio transmitted to Dave. Although at high altitude the signal will be very weak, Dave's large ears will hopefully pick it up...
Started training my neighbours miniature Pinscher. This little dog fits neatly into the cargo-bay just below the parachute compartment. At apogee I'll blow a dog whistle, the signal for brave dog Dave to initialize the reentrance procedures.
removed the aluminium of the lower part and filled the wooden skelton wit polyurethane.
Actually I bought a second hand sewing machine.. (on the right) ..after 3 meters sewing it stopped working. My luck my friends had one I could use standing by.
To start I first made a small parachute, 0,80cm diameter, just to sort out all the problems I would encounter. I turned out rather well and I'll use it for the safe return of the nosecone part.
That's me sewing the first panel of the big (1.80 diameter) parachute.
This is were I made my parachutes. It was really nice to do the sewing in such a remote natural place were I could concentrate very well.
The nine panel parts, all with a double hem ready to be stitched together
The finished parachute! This day there was a nice breeze and I could hardly hold the parachute.
Frame partially closed with japanese paper with a cellulose lacquer.
Detail of the opaque paper finish.
The parachute compartment Here the small parachute that will pull of the nosecone will be placed. I had to remake this because the earlier version had to little space to contain the parachute that turned out bigger then I thought.
Aluminium hatch for the parachute compartment
T.E.1 halfway it's first and succesfull testdrive. Aerodynamic properties exceeded the preliminary computed expectations.