Successful Zero-G Flight Test

The connection is too slow from where I’m staying tonight to get the highlight footage up on youtube tonight, but I’ll have it up tomorrow or Monday at the latest. But the good news is that the flight went well, the hardware all worked correctly, and we were able to get full or partial captures on four of the zero-g parabolas. I’ll do a more extensive writeup/debrief when I get back into town Tuesday night, but I just wanted to let people know that we made our “impossible” goal, and successfully flew the Sticky Boom demonstration experiment on a Zero-G airplane less than a month after we formally launched the project.

Special thanks to:

  • The many great people at ZeroG for bending over backwards to help us have an excellent flight experience. Especially our coach, Steve, and our videographer, Bryan Rapoza, and for Michelle who helped set everything up for us.
  • The many other passengers on our flight who put-up with us doing a flight experiment on what was supposed to be an entertainment flight.
  • Steve Traugott and Forrest Ryan for staying up till 4am this morning getting the backup cable wired in and routed. We found issues with the bonded-in ribbon cable on Friday, and Forrest agreed to fly out to Santa Clara with us to help fix the problem. After pulling an almost all-nighter getting our experiment ready to fly, both Steve and Forrest (who were our alternates/backups in case either Mike or I were somehow unable to do the flight today) were up again at 6:30 this morning helping us get setup. Many thanks to Steve’s wife, Joyce, for putting up with us borrowing Steve like that.
  • Kirk, AJ, and Mike for all the work they put into getting the sticky boom demonstrator designed, assembled, fabbed, and ready to go on such short notice.
  • Brian Bernhard for helping us get unstuck from several electronics problems along the way.
  • Ben Brockert for giving us some good pointers on cameras to use for the flight.
  • Mark Lake for giving us pointers on local machine shops we could use to get last minute prototypes built.
  • Wayne Nosala in Mojave, Dennis Simplot in Erie, CO, and St Vrain’s Manufacturing in Longmont for turning us around machined parts in ridiculously short periods of time.
  • Ron, Harsha, Philip, John, and all the others at SRI International for their electroadhesion design, fabrication, and integration help.
  • Deb, Liz, and our other fellow Vault denizens for letting us take over the whole building practically for several days as we geared up for the test program, and for putting up with our mess.
  • Our investors for having the faith to put up the money that enabled this project.
  • And last but not least, my wife (and Mike’s wife as well) for supporting us on this Sprint even though it’s taken us away from family a lot more this past month than either of us would’ve liked.

I’ll update this once the youtube is up and loaded, and may give more of a debrief next week. I probably will go back to slightly less frequent blog posts in the future, but I thank everyone who has been following us during this sprint.

5 Responses
  1. Congratulations, I have read all of the daily updates for this sprint. It was exciting reading the daily updates. I hope you do it again. Also, I remember an article on selenian boondocks about using a boom to increase/decrease rotation for artificial gravity. Will using a boom like this cause the craft to start rotating before it captures the target item?

  2. Excellent news! Congratulations on a terrific flight and successful test run. Your hard work certainly paid off. I’m so glad we could be a part of your success. Until next time…