• Mr Snarky Answer

    I wonder if that breaks the insurance policy from the crane rental company?

  • Zaklamp

    I’m pretty damn sure this is the old armadillo aerospace truck and not a rental…

  • windbourne

    I wish that SX and NASA would allow others to use their testing set-ups. Elon will no doubt love having other launch systems and hopefully tugs, coming along.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    I don’t think you can build a more cost effective test stand.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    You can use NASA ones, at the right price.

  • Mr Snarky Answer
  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    After all these years and it looks like they clawed their way back to Stig. I sure hope they don’t get shut down by ‘creeping professionalism’ again. 🙂 Good going guys, glad to see all that work they did in the past did not go to waste.

  • Aerospike

    Yeah, I’m quite happy too, that they still keep on going!

  • Jimmy S. Overly

    Yeah, kind of a snail pace. I wonder what they’ve been doing in the interim – a few of the guys we EXOS chime in on the aRocket mailing list from time to time.

  • Jimmy S. Overly

    They do. Blue tested BE-3 stuff at Stennis. SpaceX tested Raptor stuff there. Most recently, Relativity (stealth startup) tested stuff there.

  • windbourne

    Yeah, but both BO and SX had to buy the time, though I’m not certain if it was like $1 thing or was a real charge.
    But, it makes sense for NASA to make available some of the older test stands esp. for these small engines/motors from startups.
    Even at this time, would be a good time for NASA to help startups doing tugs .

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    My bet is without Carmack’s money they have to do everything themselves. Combine that with the fact that they have day jobs, and probably family, and the number of hours per week you have to give to a project is quite low. Then try to make those periods add up. As a bit of a self confessional, I wanted to get just to where these guys are now, and over a decade ago started collecting and repairing old machine tools. Then I had to learn how to use them. And I did that, and promptly found a world in need of parts. It’s the very rare occasion when I can design a part, make drawings, write the g-code (I write much of it by hand) assemble a fixture and make the part, for me. When the world learns you have machine tools and you know how to make parts with them, it comes like seagulls screaming for parts. Shop time for my own goals is very rare. Then I fly, and being a good safe pilot means I have to fly. That takes a lot of time. And, I have a 5 yo niece and making sure she knows her alphabet, and can read, not to mention tea time and teaching her how to hit a baseball, that’s a lot of time too. If Exos has similar constraints and demands I’m extra impressed with what they’ve done. The ability to buy working systems, afford a good CAD/CAM combination, and most importantly have the financial freedom to not HAVE to work at a day job 8 and more hours a day. That makes a huge difference.

  • Jimmy S. Overly

    Hmm, are you sure Exos returned to the “2 days a week volunteer effort” of early Armadillo? I was under the impression that it was a full-time thing. I’m keenly aware that bootstraping often diverts resources away from your primary goal – the guys on aRocket alluded to doing machine work to keep the lights on.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    No, I’m not sure. I’m basing my assumption off a conversation I had with one of them after Armadillo was shut down. The chat was at a Space Access conference I think. So if they’re full timers and funded, it just goes to show how out of the loop I am. I was under the impression they were very high end hobbyists.

  • Jimmy S. Overly

    I could be wrong, too. My understanding was John Carmack’s ‘creeping professionalism’ comment was about how after they started doing things full time, people stopped moving with the same fire they moved with as volunteers. When they rebooted as Exos, I thought they wanted to keep doing it as full timers.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Ah, and I took his comment to mean he took offense at team members actually converging with a real engineering cycle of analysis. Or should I say I took it to mean he thought the balance between analysis and hardware tests was leaning too far in the analysis direction. I also took it as a cheap shot at an excuse as he found that spaceflight was a lot more difficult than he signed up for. I loved his moxie, but I always thought it was fueled by a heavy dose of naiveté.

  • patb2009

    what you do for fun 8 hours on a saturday is not the same as the thing you do for a living 40 hours a week.

  • Jeff2Space

    That test setup looks sketchy to me. I’m sure they’ve done the math to make sure it holds, but still…

  • Jeff2Space

    Or a more sketchy looking one, especially those hover tests. When the wire holding the thing from above goes slack, it almost certainly imparts lateral forces on the top of the stage, giving the control system some unusual forces to deal with (as in forces not experienced during actual flight).

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Hey, watch it, these guys are “professionals”. I’m pretty sure the crane boom isn’t supposed to oscillate like that either.

  • publiusr

    Looks like the Vanguard rocket