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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Prezi Presentation on the UT Tyler NASA Orion Project

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pull Test Complete!

The video below is a pull test on a strut end, as performed by Jim Mills on our Tinius Olsen tensile testing machine.  When Jim pans the camera over to the control panel on the machine, you will see the force hovering at about 11,000 pounds (more than 5 tons) -- and the maximum force applied was 12,600 lbs.  Starting at about 48 seconds, watch for the dramatic deformation.

So . . . which will fail first:  the ball joint part of the strut?  The threaded rod?  The weld?

The specimen was loaded at 0.02 in/min, and using the smallest cross-sectional area of the part (which would be based on the minor diameter of the thread pitch) the strut end withstood 71 ksi of tensile stress. 

Check back later for some pictures!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Adjustable Struts In Use!


This is a video of the pallet bring raised back to the nominal location after moving it to a post stroked condition during testing yesterday afternoon at NASA Johnson.  Christie Sauers commented as folllows: "Pretty amazing how easily it moves!  Notice we aren’t even using the cheater bars.  It actually moves so easily that we will be adding some locking nuts very soon to keep them from moving when you hold on to the struts for stabilization/leverage."  Thanks for the video, Christie!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


The pallet has been installed in the mockup!  Congrats to everybody involved in this project!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Strut Changes

Below are some pictures dealing with an issue discovered at delivery:  the pallet struts do not the full 8" range of motion.  Jim Mills is working on fixing the problem, and the images below are being provided to NASA engineers to evaluate any issues that could arise as a result of fixing the problem.  One of the challenges in engineering design is determining the effect that one seemingly minor design change may have on the rest of the design.  In this instance, there is concern about interference of cut-off bolt heads and nuts with the adjustment threads inside the struts.

Here are Jim's comments on the images:  The threaded 5/8” bolt in the center simulates the screw size only, disregard the bolt head of that element. The bolts used are ¾” to simulate the drop bolt head size of 1  1/8” across the flats. The last two are ¾” nuts to simulate the best case scenario of trimming the drops, via the 1” hole in the side, to mostly just hex without much screw remaining.

Pallet and Strut Delivery!

Below, you can see the pallet and struts waiting between RBN and RBS to be loaded up for the trip to Houston.

Ready to go!

The pallet outside the mockup at NASA Johnson.
Jim Mills and Mike Singleton delivered the pallet and struts to NASA.  While there, they enjoyed some awesome scenery and cool NASA sights.
Mike at Rocket Park.
Jim and the medium fidelity Orion capsule mockup.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Final Coat of Paint

Pallet Center Section

Pallet Side Sections


Strut Close-up