Jop – the new intern
A couple weeks ago we got a new intern.
His name is Jop Nijenhuis, he is 21 years old and from the Netherlands.
We take on a few interns a year. The schedule has to be right. We need to have tasks for the interns that match their field of study and it needs to be a time of year where we are present at the workshop a lot, so we can monitor, help and teach the intern and so the intern can become a part of what we do.
Jop has been given the task of looking into designing and building a gimbal system for the NEXØ class rockets. A lot has been said about gimbal vs. jetvanes for active guidiance. It would be good to back all the theory with some practical design and fabriaction experience, to get a better feel for the strengths and weaknesses of the gimbal concept.
We have flown jetvanes on the Sapphire rocket and we will fly jetvanes again on the NEXØ-1 rocket this summer. Jetvanes has worked well for us and we are happy to continue with that system. However we want to get to know the gimbal approach better from a practical point of view, so we are better able to judge its merits and drawbacks for the upcoming much larger Spica rocket we will be designing.
The NTU students have been visiting us in the workshop this past week. It is their third visit during the teaching programme we do for them.
This visit is all about taking delivery of parts from external manufactors. The students has been designing rocket engine parts and delivered the drawings to manufactors to be turned into actual metal parts. During this visit they have been instructed in quality assurance of the manufactored parts, measuring and comparing the actual metal parts with the drawings on the computer.
The students got to conduct water flowtests of manufactored parts, they got tto measure a lot and they got to perform leakfinding and crack finding. The students was also taken on visits to some of the manufactors to see for themself how manufactoring happens in companies.
Our role is to be the teachers and mentors in this process.
For the students, this visit is a crucial step in the rocket course. It is where their design work on the computer meats the sometime harsh realities of actual fabrication in metal.
New electronics workshop
Thanks to a kind sponsor we are opening a new electronis workshop with a new set of tools.
The new workshop is indoors and can be heated in winter. That is a huge improvement over the prior arrangement, where the electronics group had to make do with a couple tables in the unheated workshop building.
Prior to this the people building electronics has done a lot of their work from home, where they have more comfy arrangements. Only the larger jobs such as cabling of the rockets etc. were done in the cold workshop.
The area vacated by the electronics people will be taken over by the spacecraft department.
Kristian von Bengtson has kindly taken on a group of four students from DTU and given them an introduction to spacecraft hatch design. The students wil do a hatch design as a university project.
A spacecraft hatch is a complex problem with no easy solutions. We look forward to following their progress and helping them along.
Lathe & Milling news
We have ordered a set of tools and equipment for the lathe and milling machines. The machines are old but in good condition, having seen only light use and good maintenance in their past.
The tools & equipment has been obtained from a handfull of companies that deals in new parts & tools for old machines.
In their present state the machines has built the Nexø rocket and the BPM-5/2 engines.
With the new tools & equipment we make life easier for the people using the machines and we get the ability to solve tasks inhouse that prior to this acquisition we would have been forced to send to machineshops elsewhere. This gives us some planning freedom, in that we can choose to either do it ourself or use an external supplier, depending on time available, deadlines, cost etc.
Exhibitions and the space law
A new version of the proposed danish “law on activities in outer space” was released this week by the ministry of research. The next step in the process is for the parlamentary committee on research and education to process and discuss it. Given that the law will impact us deeply, we have been forced to do a lot more work of the political sort these past months, than what we have been used to.
A public part of this work is a podcast on the topic of the law itself and the UN treaties from the 1960’ties that was up until now the legal foundation for our activities. It is the first in a series of podcasts on space related topics that Kristian von Bengtson has started.
The podcast is in danish:
The second podcast in the series is on the topic of german space history, the german rocket projects in the early years, through the second world war with the V-2 etc. and on to Huntswille Alabama and the Germans involved in the Saturn V and the trip to the moon.
This podcast is also in danish:
At the end of april we will be exhibiting in Newcastle, UK at the Maker Fair.
We are in the progress of making a rocket for exhibition purposes, that can be easily taken apart for shipment, and assembled at the exhibition site with simple tools. We were invited to the Maker Fair last year, but could not make it, due to insufficient time to prepare the exhibition rocket.
In the past month we have held two exhibits in Copenhagen in public libraries. One in “Ørestads Bibliotek” and the other at “Gentofte Bibliotek” where Mads Stenfatt also gave a speech.