so, a few months ago, a few friends and i started building rockets, at first small, solid rocket boosters, then something like a proton with 16 srbs around it and then a hydrogen oxygen booster inside the main body, stage sep and then a payload of a lego superman. finally we launched it and surprise surprise, it went up, swerved, and pelted into the ground at about 15 m/s pulling 20 gs. so we decided to build something bigger, but in order to get licensing and money and just to be able to do it, we needed to build a high altitude balloon to test out the equipment, so we made the atlas, this is basically how is is made and flow, eventually we aim to get the aries programme into orbit with the icharus, which is much like the falcon 9, it takes off with a jab, then at 200,000 ft in micro gravity the srbs ignite and so does the main hydrazine engine, and it zooms off into orbit.

the atlas is designed to test the functions.

the main ones are, altitude adjustment, re-entry, guidance, igniters at 200,000 ft, the hab, aluminium, the jolt of take off. and some experaments,

just to be clear, we live in the uk, under uk law so the law might be different where you are.

Step 1: Building the Atlas


take 6 500mmx500mmx1mm aluminium plates, rivet them into a cube, then take 4 trapeziums with a top of 250mm bottom 500mm and height 100mm a mount the 500 side onto one of the cube edges, do this till you have made a sort of volcano shaped thing on one side, repeat on each side, then open up the cube, cut out a 100x100 cube in the middle of the top plate, and then put inside of the square, another cube of measurements 100x100x100, thats the parachute deploy system, then you are gonna take the top plate off and add a cube of polystyrene that will exactly fill the cube, then cut out as appropriate for the payload.

Step 2: Inside

thats what it should look like but be aware, the coding dosent matter as long as it works, you have to use the gps inside which is http://www.byonics.com/mt-aio, it is made specially for habs and so it pretty crucial, it communicates with the ground and is so crucial it unbelievable, its like the black box recorder, data storage and connector, i would advise ordain code as its just goo, but do what you must.

Step 3: Motors

now, up high there is lots of fast wind, so it is important to have something to battle it, enter motors, the most expensive piece of kit is 4 heavy lift drone motors, they are low power usage and very powerfull, pick up 4 on amazon for about £300.00 so expensive but great. hook them up to the motherboard in pins 5/6/7/8 on an and or gate code frequency and then wire them, mount them on the volcanoes, fill the rest of these pace with polystyrene insulation and you are good to go.

Step 4: Pds

pds (parachute deployment system) is the way you get it back.

put the top plate back on and place 4 12 kg electromagnets on the 4 corners of the 100x100 plate, then turn them on and put on the plate, they hold it down meaning that the parachute won't come out, but when you turn them off, the plate goes flying and the parachute comes out.

Step 5: The Balloon

we used hydrogen to inflate ours as its cheaper and, better, but use helium if you have spare cash as it is so much safer, attach the balloon by a 10m string to the pads plate, and inflate and go.

Step 6: Flight

hook your laptop up to the gps and let it go, it. will rise fast so stand back, whenever it goes astray use the motors to fly it back near to you, then when the balloon pops at 200,000 feet as it will, let it drop, at 1000 ft activate pads and steer it back to you, any earlier and it will get blown away, later and it will crash. the parachute is imperative to missions success

Step 7: Complete

so whether you are building a rocket and need to get it tested or just want to get in on the action a jab is a great way to start so seriously.

the total cost for us was about £800.00 which was ok as we got sponsorship. projects like these attract everyone from virgin to ba so why not, give it a go.

Step 8:

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