Monthly Archives: April 2008

No,PTV is not a new cable station…

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Or a new broadband station of some kind.  

PTV is really NASA Insider lingo for Parachute Test Vehicle.  Being the key player that I am, the following pictures were sent to me for my approval.

I won’t trouble you with the pages of notes, back and forth dialogue, and details of my careful examination of the plans.  I’d rather just bring you right up to speed with where things are now.

Here are just a few key things you should know about the PTV.
  
1.   This vehicle represents the first full system parachute test in preparation for the first Pad Abort Test.
2.   This vehicle will face many realistic test conditions which include testing for mass properties, aero shape, flow field and structural integrity.
3.   The test will be conducted by dropping the PTV from a C-130, not via rocket.  That will come later.
4.  
These pictures do not have the chutes integrated yet.

I’m not certain of the test date, but when I work out the details with the test team and let everyone know.

Enjoy the pics.


Don’t worry, this vehicle is unmanned.  They don’t have to cram a bathroom in there.  Photo Credit: NASA


The tan and toupe color scheme match the theme for my high school prom.  Hmmm, which is cooler?  Photo Credit: NASA


If I drop a few pounds, I could squeeze in there for a ride.  Photo Credit: NASA

It almost looks as if the PTV is smiling in this last picture.  I guess everyone, even the vehicle itself, can’t wait to begin testing.

The Co-Host

The 15th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race Rocks!!!

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The 15th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race held at the US Space and Rocket Center/NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL was amazing.  Hats off to all the winners, competitors, organizers, volunteers and everyone who helped contribute to this awesome event.

Both the high school kids and the college kids showed tenacious ingenuity in their battle against the elements and circumstance.  For example, on a couple of starts chains were popping off within a few feet.  Some were able to get their buggies up and running quickly, others were off to the pits to make corrections for a second run.  All of which took place under cruel rainy conditions. 

And the obstacles took their toll as well.  We named several obstacles (the NASA EDGE – giving you an inside and outside look at your buggy if you hit the obstacle poorly, Keyke’s Corner, the infamous Shackelton Crater, and the San Antonio Sand Trap.)  The NASA EDGE obstacle was particularly fun because of the look on the faces of the drivers as they hit it.  They seemed to know it was going to be wild, but they were compelled to tackle it with full force.  No obstacle, however, was easy.  I’m actually cramping up just thinking about it.  Must change subject….

One other really cool thing about the race was seeing the volunteers who happen to be engineers just chomping at the bit to get in there and help modify designs and share ideas.  They didn’t, but they had that gleam of inspiration in their eyes.  My suggestion is to have a Hall of Fame Day added to the competition that would allow retired engineers try their hand at this challenging event.

Until we post our NE@ Vodcast of the race, please enjoy the following pics.  They certainly don’t tell the entire story, but they do give you an idea of some of the intense action.


The Thrill of Conquering the NASA EDGE Obstacle.  Credit: Ron Beard


… and the agony of defeat (they did finish.)  Credit: Ron Beard


Yes, that is a safety hay bale catching a ride with a daring team.  Credit: Ron Beard


In all fairness, he didn’t design the goggles.  Credit: Ron Beard


According to Jacky Cortez… “We’re all winners!”  Credit: Ron Beard


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