Thursday, November 7, 2013

Failure to launch.

Where I am, we're heading into a long unbroken several months of shitty overcast/rainy weather. Today was an unexpectedly clear, sunny day so rather than wait to add all the bells and whistles to Skyhab, I attempted an early launch.

That's as full as it ever got. I severely underestimated the amount of helium necessary. I will need around 5 tanks to fill it to the point where it will lift skyhab. The tanks are $45 each. I don't have that kind of money to spend on something like this, and there haven't been any donations in over a year. Consequently, project Space Hams is indefinitely postponed and most likely cancelled. 


  1. Is there any other way... These Hams are getting old and our window of opportunity is closing. This is the final mission, is you're exciting adventure through the oceans and skies over so quick? Please make one last push.
    Sincerely, Joe Thebeault (14) (watching you're blogs for two years)

  2. First off the tank you displayed is not a good way to go. If you go to a gas supply store you can often rent a tank that is at much higher pressure and get much more helium at a better price.

    Secondly you don't need to use helium. Hindenburg disaster was caused by electrically insulated segments of skin painted in conductive rocket fuel not because of the hydrogen. But you don't want to use hydrogen either, it's also a bit pricey.

    Methane (the chief component of natural gas) is used as a lift gas when hydrogen and helium are not available. It has the advantage of not leaking through balloon walls as rapidly as the small-moleculed hydrogen and helium.

    So literately you can fill the balloon up from your kitchen stove, use a hose and fill it up outside.

    Anhydrous ammonia is a little harder to get and more toxic but it is also a decent lifting gas.

  3. Or create hydrogen with a metal/hydrochloric acid reactien , or water hydrolysis