It’s been a very exciting month at Mach 30. We have made amazing progress on the Shepard Test Stand, gotten accepted to speak at a conference, and exhibited at another. If life were a video game, Mach 30’s volunteers and partners would have just earned a whole slew of achievements. Check them out.
Replication – Have your OSHW project built by a third party
This month, the Coca Cola Space Science Center (CCSSC) became the first group outside Mach 30 to build a Shepard Test Stand. I am particularly pleased with this achievement since it is such a concrete demonstration of our open source principles at work. Here’s CCSSC sharing it with us over a Google+ Hangout.
I’m not the only one who is happy about this news. Here’s what Matt Bartow, the educational services support specialist at CCSSC, had to say.
“Congratulations to all of you at Mach 30, because I know you were very excited about seeing the first one externally built. It was a great success, and thank you for all your help through our build process. We will start posting our data, and, as we begin using it for student educational programming, we will also be posting about that as well.
If you need anything at all, please let us know. Thank you so much for letting us be a part of the Shepard Program, and we are very eager to watch as everything develops for the betterment of STEM education.”
Smoke and Fire – Complete first test firing of a rocket test stand
This achievement actually goes to our friends at CCSSC. Not only did they build their own copy of the Shepard Test Stand, but a few days later they successfully fired it. Plus they were able to collect data from their tests and as you can see below, it looks very good (the flat spot in the graph is from a known bug in the Data Acquisition (DAQ) software which should be fixed shortly). Congrats to CCSSC and the Shepard project team!
Spread the Word – Get accepted as a presenter at a conference
I am also happy to announce that Mach 30’s Export Control Task Force has had its presentation on Open Source Hardware and Export Controls accepted as a topic at the 2013 Open Hardware Summit in Boston. The format for the presentation is a 6+1 (6 minute presentation followed by 1 minute for questions). The task force is currently working on the presentation materials, which of course will be openly licensed. Stay tuned for more details.
Show and Tell – Attend a major conference as an exhibitor
To top off the month, I was able to attend New Space 2013 where I ran Mach 30’s booth. This is the first time Mach 30 has exhibited at a major space conference, though not our first exhibit experience (we have taken the Shepard Test Stand to both the Open Hardware Summit and a regional Maker Faire). Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers, Mach 30’s booth included display materials and two hardware projects: Shepard and the first ground station prototype. Sadly, due to fire restrictions I was not able to run a test fire on Shepard at the conference. But New Space and Mach 30 are already talking about what needs to be done to conduct test fires next year.
Look for a complete report on the conference later this week.