Monday, June 17, 2013


I finished the modifications to the Sugar Shot to Space's DSS TM-3 motor this weekend.  It was particularly tough machining through screw holes.  The open spaces created a hammering effect that subjected the tool and lathe to quite a beating.  I wonder if filling the holes with epoxy would have helped.  Once the adapter ring arrives I will make sure the two pieces fit together and that they fit the motor casing.  For now, I'm back to work on the TR-1 motor.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


I'm making good progress on the nozzle, but it's slow going.  I'm about halfway through the biggest modification which is cutting a relief that the adapter ring will fit into.  The area that I'm cutting away has the screw holes in it and cutting through that section really hammers the tool.  The other mods should be simple by comparison.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I've started refurbishment/modification of the nozzle for the upcoming TM-3 test.  Having seen the force with which this nozzle bounced across the Mojave desert last year, it's in remarkable condition.  I started by cutting off the eight screws which held on the divergent extension.   The threads we so messed up that cutting them off was the easiest way to go.  The mods are pretty simple; removing some material from the shoulder to accommodate an adapter will take the most time.  I have it in the lathe now and hope to finish it this weekend. Marco clearly did a great job machining this nozzle.  I'm sure it was not an easy task and it would be awesome to finally get a solid firing with this nozzle.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


I  made good progress on the TR-1 nozzle this weekend.   The two pieces fit together nicely.  I'm still tempted to take some weight out of the nozzle, I think I could get a nearly half a pound of weight out of it. I'll probably hold off until after the initial static test before trying to reduce the nozzle mass.  I'm currently making some modifications to the DSS motor nozzle for the Sugar Shot to Space project.  Once that's completed, I'll finish the TR- 1 nozzle and get to work on the rest of the motor.

Monday, June 3, 2013


I updated the nozzle drawing...again! My goal is to see if I can get this nozzle to come in at less weight than the nozzle for my other N-class motor.  That wasn't really part of my original goal, but what the hell.  I like the challenge.  I think it's going to be close, I'm also pretty sure that I will end up going back into the nozzle ring to shaving more weight out of it too.


I finished the motor casing for the P-class SStS TM-3 motor this weekend.  Not surprisingly, the 6061 t-6 aluminum tube was much easier to work with than the steel pipe used for the previous DSS test motors.  I'm pleased with the casing and can't wait to see the completed motor.

I also managed to get a good start on the divergence half of my N-class TR-1 motor.  The 12L14 leaded steel I'm using for this piece is noticeably easier to work than the regular 1018 steel used for the other half of this nozzle.  Using some good quality silver and deming bits I was able to remove a lot of material quickly. Well relatively quickly any way.  I want to get this piece finished this week so I can get the two halves of this nozzle together.