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Weekly Activity Report - July 20-26, 2009

Highlights of recent developments on the MiniSShot Project

-The MiniSShot rocket motor, officially deemed "ProtoSShot-M Mark III", was successfully static fired at the FAR test facility in the Mojave Desert on July 25th at 2:15 PDT.  Although results are preliminary at this point in time, the motor appears to have fared well without apparent damage.
This successful test marks a key milestone in the Sugar Shot to Space Program.

Some basic information on the ProtoSShot-M Mark III motor:
- Diameter: 3.5" (89 mm)
- Length: 79.5" (2019 mm)
- Dual phase (2 burns separated by a delay)
- Design burn time: 2.54 + 10 s.delay + 2.60 s.
- Design impulse: 13132 N-s.  ("N-Class")
- Propellant Type: KNSB (potassium nitrate / sorbitol)
- Propellant load: 23.12 lbs.  (10.485 kg.)

- A huge thank-you goes out to those Team members and collaborators who braved 110F desert temperatures to participate in this important test. Success would have eluded us without the dedication of the Team members, and we are grateful for the assistance of the collaborators at this event:
Matt Campbell (Propulsion Team member)
Chris King (Propulsion/Avionics Team member)
Rick Maschek (Propulsion Team member)
Paul Avery (Propulsion Team member)
Mark Holthouse (FAR secretary and Calif Pyro Op)
Bruce Pitt (helped Chris with Data Acquisition)
Matt Delcastillo (general helping out)
Ben Brockert (high speed video footage)
Jeff Jacobs (lent badly needed tools)

 Setting up the rocket motor on the test rig:
 Video of the test firing:
Lo-res version of this video (1.3 Meg):
View from tower cam:
 (photo & videos courtesy Rick Maschek)

Motor firing, HD:

Motor firing, 1/20th speed:
(both videos courtesy Ben Brockert)

- Over the next several days, the motor will be taken apart, cleaned and carefully examined for signs of damage. If no significant damage or sign of anomalous behaviour is uncovered, the motor will be deemed "flight-worthy" and refurbished for launch later this year.
   Motor partly disassembled after firing:

- Good data was collected of the thrust and chamber pressure. The data will be processed and analyzed over the next few days. Screen capture of raw results:
First phase burn:
Second phase burn:
(courtesy Chris King)

- Dan Pollino (inverseengineering.com) was invited to attend and video-document the event, in conjunction with a flight of his own Coyote Rocket. Dan's unique documentary style captured both the essence and excitement that filled the air that day.
Congratulations to Dan on his highly successful flight!

- On Sunday, a post-firing Skype debriefing session was held between members of the Propulsion Team. Excellent information about the event was documented on what went well, what did not go well, and what lessons were learned to improve things next time around.

- Peter Kocalka continues to make good progress with the MiniSShot telemetry system. Peter has begun testing of the transmitter and GPS unit, and reports:

   GPS needs 40mA current and 45mA peak [9V]
   Tiny_Track needs 43mA current and 48mA peak [9V]
   GPS with original cable is 102g mass
   Tiny Track is 34g mass

(photos courtesy Peter Kocalka)
Be a part of our success, celebrate, and show that you, too, are a believer in our dream by making a financial donation: http://www.sugarshot.org/sponsors.html#Donors

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