Ok, I also promised a quick status update.
Our main progress for the day included fleshing out our project plan, starting some of the preliminary design work on our new gripper design, and getting our new boom units in from RolaTube in the UK. I’ll probably go into some of the why’s and wherefor’s of our decision to go with Rolatube’s “Bi-stable Reeled Composites” for this project in some future update, but for now, here’s some eyecandy:
The RolaTube guys have been awesome to work with. Those of you who source parts regularly probably know what I mean when I say that there are some companies out there that actually want you to buy their stuff. These guys would be in that unfortunately far to rare category. I have to admit that I was completely floored to get a call back from a company in the UK only about five minutes after I sent an inquiry in on their website. Cool hardware? Check. Reasonable prices? Check. Excellent customer services? Check. Source of way too much entertainment for a couple of space nerds? Check and Check.
Oh, and did I mention that Altius now has a Youtube Channel? http://www.youtube.com/altiusspace
RolaTube looks like a really cool product. I could think of a number of uses for something like that. Can you give a general ballpark of the cost of it?
Yeah, they’re already using it for a wide range of stuff, including stowable communications masts, pipes that you can roll out and then seem weld, extensible booms like what we’re using them for, etc.
As for price, I’m not sure they want me blabbing their prices online, but they were pretty reasonable, and the sales guys got back with me pretty quickly on quotes and such. For comparison, the 3m mast we got, including a bunch of fittings and guy wires and stuff for using this as a field-deployable antenna mast, was less than the cost of one of the linear actuators we used at Masten for engine gimbaling.
I wasn’t really looking for a price, more an idea of whether it costs dollars, tens of dollars, hundreds of dollars, or thousands of dollars.
Fair enough. The one we got was in the hundreds, I think.
HA! Hundreds? Then that’s not REAL space hardware! 😉 Com’on Jon, quit pulling our legs here. 😉
To be clear, the “Battle Mast” we bought was *not* space-rated hardware. A space-optimized version of this (using vacuum compatible composites, carbon fiber, weight optimized, etc, etc would likely have cost *substantially* more.
You will have to excuse my high level of sarcasm.