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Visual Guide – the Making of a DIY Space Capsule

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the get-your-space-on dept.

Space 40

Kristian vonBengtson writes "Wanna build your own space capsule capable of doing an atmospheric re-entry on a suborbital mission? Well, here are some production hints and a visual guide." The initial stages begin with sketches on paper before moving to 3D design software. He writes, "A whole bunch of sketches were done to get some kind of initial idea of the size, subsystems layout and how to actually produce the capsule while keeping an open structure for further development and potential changes. One of the main concerns was the small size and the ability to easy install and replace avionics. This led to the decision that all external side panels will have to accommodate being taken on and off – no welding, only on the main structure." Afterward, he moves on to show the final metal cuts and how the pieces are put together via bolts and welding.

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Quit texting with our mouth (0, Offtopic)

paiute (550198) | about 10 months ago | (#45618385)

Really? "Wanna"? You may slur the words together like that when you speak, but please try to use the written language properly - especially if you are representing a legitimate magazine/internet site like Wired.

Re:Quit texting with our mouth (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618595)

"our mouth"?

I think you meant "your mouth". When you're trying to be a language nazi, do try not to fuck it up so bad.

HEY GUYS! (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 10 months ago | (#45620559)

"Is it getting hot in this capsule, or is it just m....."

FWOOOFFF!

Re:HEY GUYS! (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 10 months ago | (#45620571)

Laika burgers! Well done!

Re:Quit texting with our mouth (2, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 10 months ago | (#45618701)

It's called vernacular, and it makes it easier to read as it's more relatable. Sorta like using contractions and incomplete sentences. Like your first sentence. And your second one.

Re: Quit texting with our mouth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618773)

Considering that von Bengtson speaks English as his second language (he is a Dane) I think we can find it in our hearts to forgive him don't you?

Re: Quit texting with our mouth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618989)

Considering that von Bengtson speaks English as his second language (he is a Dane) I think we can find it in our hearts to forgive him don't you?

No. (I'm a Dane too.)

Re: Quit texting with our mouth (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 10 months ago | (#45621889)

Nope. Non-native speakers generally learn proper English and words like "wanna" are most often used by native speakers. Thus the use of "wanna" in this context feels like a forced vernacular.

Re:Quit texting with our mouth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45621527)

Whenever I want to read a tech article that convey's a strong sense of self-importance and intense urgency, I reach for Wired. I swear nearly every feature screams "This is the most important thing you will read this year!"
After reading half of an issue of Wired in one sitting I wanna brew some chamomile tea and wrap myself up in a blankie. It's so hard to wind down from that kind of mental onslaught.

Stability? (3, Interesting)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 10 months ago | (#45618409)

I like it. With such a high fineness ratio, I wonder a little about stability-- does it stay heat-shield down? Is there an alternate stable mode with the nose down?

I do notice a ballute-- this is probably to stabilize the heat-shield-down attitude when it's too high for a parachute to open. This may work for stability for the relatively low entry velocities needed for suborbital, although I'd be curious about the ballute holding up in hypersonic conditions.

Not how i'd do it. (3, Funny)

shadowrat (1069614) | about 10 months ago | (#45618585)

I'd use my apple II computer to generate some kind of force field / inertial dampening bubble around my capsule. Then the capsule can be hastily cobbled together from household items.

Re:Not how i'd do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618663)

I'd just use this [youtube.com]

Re:Not how i'd do it. (2)

X0563511 (793323) | about 10 months ago | (#45618805)

Darwin will quickly show you the error of your ways.

Re:Not how i'd do it. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 10 months ago | (#45619263)

I know the film to which you allude, but the title escapes me. I saw it many years ago.

Re:Not how i'd do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45620277)

Explorers

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089114/

Re:Not how i'd do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45619295)

Don't forget your oxygen tanks!

Re:Not how i'd do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45627125)

Just model it after an Erlenmeyer flask and slap a heat shield on the bottom. Then toss is some kind of parachute. It seems to be the easiest, most stable model, since everyone uses it.

This is a job for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618653)

...Jonathan Ive!

#badbios - probing for deeper looks at (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618661)

@Clive Robinson

A lot of people are wondering why dragosr was the only one to run across this malware. In fact, he wasn't. The people who were before him were mocked and most threads closed and either deleted or shuffled to areas of message boards where Joe Q public couldn't see it and question this for themselves. [some] Major Anti-Virus companies included.

Users didn't want to know, companies didn't want to know. Unless you were "known" in the field, like dragosr, and even then, you are handled like you may be retarded or just need a vacation.

Here is one of dozens of reports:

LCD Monitor Broadcasts Noise To Radio! Why? (FRS)
http://forums.radioreference.com/computer/255488-lcd-monitor-broadcasts-noise-radio-why.html [radioreference.com]

Final post in that thread:

"BOTTOM LINE: No matter WHAT you do, all devices that use electricity will emit some sort of interference in the air and there's nothing you can do about it without unplugging/turning it off. "

including:

"Have you noticed any nondescript white vans or black helicopters in your neighborhood?

What do you do or have you done to make "them" take such an interest in you that "they" have to bug you?

You need a bigger tinfoil hat, perhaps a full body suit."

Another thread:

Gpu based paravirtualization rootkit, all os vulne

http://forum.sysinternals.com/gpu-based-paravirtualization-rootkit-all-os-vulne_topic26706.html [sysinternals.com]

This:

U.N. report reveals secret law enforcement techniques

"Point 201: Mentions a new covert communications technique using software defined high frequency radio receivers routed through the computer creating no logs, using no central server and extremely difficult for law enforcement to intercept."

http://www.unodc.org/documents/frontpage/Use_of_Internet_for_Terrorist_Purposes.pdf [unodc.org]

http://www.hacker10.com/other-computing/u-n-report-reveals-secret-law-enforcement-techniques/ [hacker10.com]

I think this is something which has been brewing for years, but "forces" beyond our sight have managed to stifle any serious investigation into the technology. Some have announced they are retreating to ancient technology of the 70's and 80's, others are looking towards open source hardware and software combinations.

Is it time Wireshark included audio monitoring as well? Off to play with a recording device and Audacity.

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/11/friday_squid_bl_402.html#c2751193 [schneier.com]

This looks really nice. (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 10 months ago | (#45618719)

I wonder if the 500 kg weight for the final model is inc. or ex. the payload and what the ratio is.
Good luck and lets hope it's not "Per aspera ad astra".
Long live the workers control over the means of production ; ).

Re:This looks really nice. (2)

camperdave (969942) | about 10 months ago | (#45619031)

Good luck and lets hope it's not "Per aspera ad astra".

Better "Per aspera ad astra" than "Per defectum, in flammas"

Re:This looks really nice. (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 10 months ago | (#45619289)

There's a fantasy shop somewhere in the UK that is supposed to be named in latin. The owners thought 'too the stars' a good name, so they named it accordingly: "Ad astrae."

Unfortunately they made a critical error: In attempting to pluralise astra, they didn't realise that astra is already a plural. The singular is astrum.

So what they actually called the shop is 'To the starses.' Or possibly 'To the altar.'

Re:This looks really nice. (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 10 months ago | (#45620629)

So what they actually called the shop is 'To the starses.' Or possibly 'To the altar.'

We hates it, forever!

Re:This looks really nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45623469)

https://www.google.se/search?q=ad+ashtray

Re:This looks really nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45619383)

Hey.
The 500 kg is the total mass of the capsule including one astronaut.
The stability during re-entry is estimated to work out accordingly to the center of mass vs center of pressure. With a ballute deployed at apogee there should be even bigger stability margins... We will see next summer.... Fingers crossed
kristian von Bengtson

some notes (1, Interesting)

Thud457 (234763) | about 10 months ago | (#45618759)

1. No mention of where they're sourcing their imipolex G from. Ex-NAZI rocket scientists are hard to come by these days.

2. China & India, you really need to step up your game.
It's not quite as big a boost to national prestige when hobbyist makers are getting their stuff launched. If SpaceX starts providing unused space for hobby payloads to fly standby, every school science project could get launched.

Re:some notes (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 10 months ago | (#45620799)

2. China & India, you really need to step up your game.
It's not quite as big a boost to national prestige when hobbyist makers are getting their stuff launched.

I'm trying to parse your meaning here... Are you seriously suggesting that because amateurs are now able to do what the professionals were doing sixty plus years ago... China and India (who are doing stuff far more advanced than the amateurs) are falling behind? That's like claiming Boeing and Airbus need to be worried because someone has built a four engined RC aircraft - absolutely ludicrous.
 

If SpaceX starts providing unused space for hobby payloads to fly standby, every school science project could get launched.

I can't figure out whether you vastly overestimate the number of SpaceX launches and the spare payload available, or if you underestimate the number of potential school science projects (in the US) by multiple orders of magnitude. Either way, you're way, way off base.

Spacecraft (2)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 10 months ago | (#45618797)

"THAT is a spacecraft, sir. We do not refer to it as a 'capsule.' Spacecraft." - Alan Shepard in "The Right Stuff"

Re:Spacecraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45621491)

And yet, the astronaut (usually) at mission control designated as the person through whom communication with the spacecraft goes, is still called CAPCOM (capsule communicator), no?

KSP (1)

Saethan (2725367) | about 10 months ago | (#45619015)

Personally, I use Kerbal Space Program to design my re-entry modules.

Re:KSP (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 10 months ago | (#45619317)

I got a kerbal stranded in orbit once, without any fuel left. Then I realised there is a simple way down: Jump. I used his MMU to provide the required delta-v to deorbit.

It was an eventful flight down. He made a perfect descent, right up until the point of landing at three hundred meters per second.

Re: KSP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45620963)

Stranded in orbit in KSP is no problem. When that happens to me I just do an EVA and use my rocket backpack to push the capsule in the retrograde direction. Refueling of the back pack is done by entering the capsule again. It's cheating, but it works ;-)

Thanks, but no thanks. (1)

modi123 (750470) | about 10 months ago | (#45619089)

I knew all about making my own space vehicle back in 1985 when the docu-drama "Explorers [imdb.com] " came out. An expert tale crafted by the 'Gremlins' director Joe Dante, and staring a young Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix. It explains how a dream of a circuit board can manifest into "ThunderRoad" and I can make smoochie faces at extra terrestrial life.

Movie poster [imgur.com]

Re:Thanks, but no thanks. (1)

Megane (129182) | about 10 months ago | (#45624237)

I learned about it back in 1979 that you can make one out of stuff you can find at a junkyard, like a a cement mixer drum. [wikipedia.org]

And Andy Griffith > > > Ethan Hawke + River Phoenix.

Seems like a lot of work... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45619463)

Seems like a lot of work considering that you more often than not end up dumping everything into the Baltic sea.

To the /. editors.
Why do we have to see this crap?
It's so obvious that Kristian vonBengtson is only using this as his own personal advertisement space for Copenhagen Suborbitals. He's only trying to get more people to join Copenhagen Suborbitals Support, so he and his friends (especially Peter Madsen) can continue their hobby while other people pay for the rent of the buildings, the ships, the materials and everything else. It's the same each and every time we hear anything from any of them.
Can you please stop giving them free advertisement space until they actually succeed with anything that has something to do with the original mission statement instead of wasting time on all their irrelevant side-projects?
It's impossible to take them serious when all they do is act like little kids playing NASA. Kristian, we all know that Gene Kranz, George Low and the other NASA-guys used to smoke celebratory cigars when NASA had done a successful launch. You don't have to smoke a cigar when you and the rest of Copenhagen Suborbitals (again!) dump your rocket at the bottom of the Baltic sea. It only makes you look like an complete idiot.

Re:Seems like a lot of work... (1, Interesting)

Kristian vonBengtson (3027633) | about 10 months ago | (#45621669)

Hey Anonymous Coward... We will eventually launch somebody in space on a suborbital ride. Everybody is interested in the story to be told, AFTER the success mostly because nobody is able to follow the process as it happens.. But here you can.. Why is that a problem? Even NASA was "little kids player NASA" when they started out... Yes, we are funded by people (mostly on the web) who find this interesting. If nobody found this interesting it would not work out - apparently it does... Thanks for the comment - love naysayers. They are the true indicator of new stuff to emerge successfully in the future.... K vonB

On paper? (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 10 months ago | (#45620341)

The initial stages begin with sketches on paper before moving to 3D design software. He writes, "A whole bunch of sketches were done

Now hold it right there.

Kids these days don't know how to draw with pencil and paper.

This is just one part of a group effort (3, Interesting)

John Bucsek (3455947) | about 10 months ago | (#45620731)

I recently attended a lecture about homebrewing a spacesuit. A professor from Portland State has always been fascinated by spaceflight and high altitude balloon flight and has designed a spacesuit. His group is called Pacific Spaceflight (pacificspaceflight.com). During his talk, he discussed what goes into designing a spacesuit and demonstrated the prototype suit they designed by pressurizing the suit (and the person wearing it) to 1-2psi above the ambient atmospheric pressure. From what they learned building the prototype they will build the flight version. Their suit is at about the tech level of a spacesuit from the Mercury program. One of his main talking points was that if everyone concentrates on one aspect of spaceflight, then it can be done affordably. Copenhagen suborbitals is working on the launch vehicle and capsule, he's working on the spacesuit. Others have other pieces of the puzzle. The Pacific spaceflight suit is the suit that will be used for a suborbital flight on the Copenhagen suborbitals vehicle hopefully some time in 2015

Ancient engineering (4, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 10 months ago | (#45620753)

One of the main concerns was the small size and the ability to easy install and replace avionics. This led to the decision that all external side panels will have to accommodate being taken on and off - no welding, only on the main structure.

This is a technique known to aerospace engineers for fifty odd years.

The timing of it's original discovery and implementation had a unexpected impact on space history though... NASA first encountered the same problems with Mercury - not so much because it's size, but because all the systems were packed inside one on top of each other with no provision for access. This caused many problems during assembly and launch preps as often connections had to be broken and unrelated equipment removed to get at a part that needed replacement, repair, or adjustment. So, when NASA and McDonnell (they hadn't yet merged with Douglas) were evolving the design into the Mercury MKII and eventually Gemini, they re-arranged things. They shrunk the pressure vessel a bit, enlarged the structural shell a bit, and packed as many systems as possible into the space between and behind access doors.

But Apollo's design was already largely frozen - it retained the Mercury type design of having almost everything packed into the pressure vessel. (Yes, the design sequence goes Mercury-Apollo-Gemini, out of order from the flight order.) The result was that it was extremely difficult to work inside the Apollo capsule, to track work accomplished, and easy to damage adjacent systems and equipment - damage that was later believed to have been the source of ignition for Apollo 1.
 
/paulharvey

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