Step 4: Making the Hot Wire Lathe

In order to construct the probe you will have to make the casing. Polystyrene (Styrofoam) is an excellent choice, because of its heat insulating properties. We used Styrofoam enhanced with graphite. The graphite enhances thermal insulation by 20%.

Before making a probe, you will first have to make a ''lathe''. First make the wooden holders for the end plates. For the end plates you can use any rod or stick, as long as it is thick enough to mount a plate on its end. Just place them into a ball baring and attached to the wooden holders. Then put a round or square plate on each of them. We used 25 mm thick aluminium rods and for the ends we used round aluminium plates (diameter 100 mm and 135 mm).

In between two end plates you will later put the polystyrene block.
With lab stands and some clamps you can make a stable holder for the hot wire.

I am currently planning on creating a space probe to collect rocks from the lunar surface and safely return them to earth. I need help though... Any suggestions for help?
How much would this cost? Just asking. So cool!
<p>Hi, thank you very much. We actually did three launches after the first one, and after optimization, the total cost of the last launch was around 800 USD (helium is quite expensive here in Europe). If you want I can give you a complete list of the materials we used, and the places we got them!</p>
<p>hello!</p><p>I don't know if you are still active here, but I would like to see the list of parts you used. Places you got them is not necessary, since I am in USA. :p That would be great though. Thanks!</p>
Absolutely jaw-dropping. This project is stuff of my dreams! Great job!
<p>hey my is Neil and am planning to make a interstellar space craft and im going in it</p>
<p>errr...I'm pretty sure that you need a permit from the local air traffic control...</p>
I'm a little late but, great work!
Slovenija &lt;3
Congratulations on making, launching and finding your own awesome spaceprobe!
Thank you.
Thank you!
Is there a web link to get information on the launch? Did it happen?
Hey guys, March has now been and gone!<br>Was looking forward to hearing about your results!<br><br>Was it launched? Did it work? Did you get it back?<br><br>dying to know!
Congratulations on this excellent Instructable. I like how it requires the integration of so many different skills and techniques for one over-arching purpose.<br> <br> Not sure about the use of Cryptococcus as a model organism though. Some species are pathogenic (<em>C. neoformans</em> and<em> C. gattii</em>) so unless you can identify them to genus, you are better off avoiding Cryptococcus altogether.
So... it's March 8! Any progress? I'm excited to see your results!
I'm very sorry to announce but James May beat you.<br>James May's Man Lab UK BBC2<br><br>And to make it worse it had 3 Go Pros AND Rtty gps and altitude beacon
And the BBC have done it again. This time Orbit and to make matters worse. It was the same as yours. Well when I say exactly they didn't use a 20 kg weight to enclose everything but some cheap polostyrine with &quot;This is a science experiment. If found call 07800 123 456&quot; The space industry is VERY expensive...<br><br>... well at least until the BBC half it, Again.
Oh man - what I'd give for his budget ;)
You guys are really inspirational! I just wish my school had had projects half this awesome :-)
one small step for captain slow, one boredom-induced stupor for mankind. although he is much more awesome than clarkson and hammond....
If you don't believe me (but you probably do anyway) here is a link for a video on youtube:<br><br>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhPgHlaMhMU<br><br>Please watch as it is funny!<br>No seriously, watch it, it's quite amazing.
Please let us know how it went! Dying of suspense!
I am wondering ... could you prevent the burst of the balloon by encasing it into a bag (much wider then balloon at surface atmospheric pressure, of course) made of light, strong fabric, or into a sort of net? I have seen old photos of stratospheric crewed balloons of Auguste Picard and it seems like he did something like that, unless what I've seen in photos were parachutes placed over balloons in advance, to be ready deployed as soon as balloons burst.<br><br>Surely that would limit the ceiling height of the probe, because in ever thinner air, the balloon must expand to displace more of it, to retain buoyancy or else the ascend stops, but OTOH it could then loiter up there for a while, and that could provide more data for your experiment.<br><br>Did you test the type of balloon you would be using? How much do they expand under pressure difference (it never exceeds 1bar from here to outer space) and what is minimal and what is average pressure difference at which they burst?
I will have to organise my school to do that! Awesome job!
Thanks - if you do, maybe we can do some kind of knowledge exchange - perhaps some on line conference or similar?Our students would definitely like the collaboration - what school are you from?
I tried to organise it with my school, but the teacher who i asked said that the school didnt have enough money :( Oh well, ill try and do it in my own time.
Nice project. Post results here too :D
Thanks! We definitely will!
Hello! A similar project in Russia was a competition where I won the contest of ideas. <br>Read here: http://www.4glaza.ru/G-project/zond/konkurs/
wish the site was in english :)
:) http://translate.google.com/
very nice, really. Love the study of the balloon and probe rotation in the wind !
Great Instructable and project, I wish we had done this back when I was in school.<br><br>One comment though, did you consider the possibility of high winds in the upper atmosphere? There was one similar amateur balloon launched probe I was checking out that actually was flipped end over end when passing through a high wind area. I would be concerned about the exposed parachute opening on the ascent, at a minimum it could drag the probe a lot further laterally than anticipated and worst case could break free entirely leaving the probe to free fall back down. I wouldn't delay the launch, just something to consider if you and your students can come up with a solution before launch day.<br><br>Good luck, looking forward to the videos.
what if they used a simple device (you could use an arduido nano, and altitude sensor, and a servo) to release the parachute from some sort of door or simply pull it out of a hole in a little capsule when it reached a certain altitude? this would prevent unexpected winds from tearing the parachute off before it was deployed. by the way, i tend to be better at things at lower altitudes (jets, planes, helis, etc) than i am at high altitude physics. if i am missing something that should be obvious, please do not yell at me.
Yelling rarely accomplishes anything.<br><br>The one issue is the temp which can reach -40 C during a trip to 35km. Temps that low drain batteries much faster which could lead to no chute deployment with an electronic release system. A mechanical air speed &quot;sensor&quot; oriented to measure relative speed when the probe is falling could work around the battery issue but a strong gust of wind blowing up under the probe could still deploy the chute early. I've been slowly getting the parts together to launch a similar probe and was going to test a system where the chute is actually stored inside the inflated balloon. Then when you reach altitude and the balloon pops the chute is deployed. Like @rokcapuder points out below a lot of this come down to luck.
Temperature was one of the primary concerns. We are using graphite enriched styrofoam, and we calculated that the temperature inside would drop to 0&deg;C after about 50 minutes, without any additional heating. <br>But the probe has a heating element inside and the air compressor also generates some heat, so I think we'll be fine.<br>Yes in some aspects you just cant be sure. Let's hope for the best!!!
Thanks !<br>The lateral drag is not a big concern, we plan to find the probe within the day of the launch. <br>As for high altitude winds - we are working with the national weather centre and if the vertical winds above 25 km reach more than 30 m/s we will have to postpone the launch. The probes strings are approx 2 m long and even if the probe flips it wont catch the chute.<br>The strings of the probe/parachute can hold the force of 800 N (80 kg) each, and we have 8 of them. The probe is assembled together via an aluminium belt - so that should should hold as well. The string holding the balloon holds 1000 N (100 kg), so it should in the rare case break first, and so protect the probe.<br>Of course there is the ''luck'' factor here, and I hope it's on our side!<br>
Prav lepo je videti kakšen tak slovenski projekt na tej strani!<br>:D<br>Čestitke da si prišel med featured ;)
Hvala :)
What about airplanes, is there no risc of one hitting the probe, did you have to get a permission to launch the probe ?<br><br>
yes we had - there is some risk, but there is not much air traffic in Slovenija, so the Flifgt Ageny gave us a safe time window in which we must launch the balloon.
At 100000 feet the temperature is well below 70C so keep your batteries warm, attach warmed plastic ampoules of water to batteries prior to launch.<br>Also to prevent early bursting of the balloon, avoid unnecessary handling / rough treatment of the balloon.<br>Keep the long length of string (&gt;15m) between the balloon and the probe, this will prevent the wind motion on the balloon affecting the probe and sensors.<br>
Awesome attempt! I did my own space balloon here- http://www.joshingtalk.com<br><br>Went up to 118,000feet but unfortunately feel in the sea on the way down....ha! Check out the link for more on that.
Nice - great images !
Thanks! Looking to do another one this year so keep checking back for more. :)
That is not high enough to qualify as being in space. :/
Is there any consideration for heating the electronics and batteries? I seem to recall issues with failing batteries at the low temperatures encountered in the upper atmosphere.
Good job one and all this is an awesome project I am proud of each one of you let me know how it all turns out. <br> <br>GOOD LUCK

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