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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Launch Pad. In the Beginning. William P Baird Current professional incarnation: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center Previous Incarnations White Sands Missile Range

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in the beginning
In the Beginning
  • William P Baird
    • Current professional incarnation:
      • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
        • National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center
    • Previous Incarnations
      • White Sands Missile Range
        • High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility
      • Technical Solutions
      • NeuNet
      • Los Alamos National Laboratory
    • In 1989, the Columbus 500 Solar Sail Cup…
      • It…failed…to get backing
      • That (and a movie a long time ago, in a theater far far away) captured my imagination
    • In 2007, the Google Lunar X Prize was announced…

…And I knew the GLXP had ‘me’ written all over it…

who we are where we are going
Pursuing the GLXP

Land rover on moon

Roll it 500m

Send back live HD video

Composed of 13 dedicated individuals

Varied skill sets

Experts in their fields

Primarily sponsor funded

Excellent at getting in-kind sponsorships

Who We Are &Where We Are Going
that is now way back when reality struck back
that is nowWay Back When…Reality Struck Back!
  • Quoted Price from machinists for the Wind at Dawn Rocket: $150,000
  • Initially thought that this would be an open-shut case of raising money…
  • And then…erm…
    • monetary sponsorship extremely hard to come by
    • “in-kind” sponsorship was a lot easier.
  • Began to think that the project might die
along came
Along Came
  • Coworker recommended Techshop
    • Skeptical
  • Showed up and started bending metal
    • Made a lot of mistakes
    • Annoyed dream coaches to no end
    • Not taken terribly seriously
    • Then the hemispheres showed up
  • Techshop’s communitarian outlook changed everything
glxp revolution
GLXP Revolution
  • All started with trying to figure out how to weld 20” ID hemispheres to make pressure tanks
    • Dream coaches (Dharma, Abe and Noah) and myself
  • Went on to become a shop collaboration with people joining:
    • Dr Alan Fang: “What do you think you are doing there?”
      • Free lance machinist and experimental physicist
    • Logan Hedin: “You are going to win!”
      • Polythermic Innovations (lead techie and partner)
    • James Erd: “Can you make that bigger?”
      • Became team’s lead machinist
    • Earl Powell: “You have to send off to Canada for that?”
      • Former lead machinist on the EUVE, now metal spinning lead for Team Phoenicia
    • Sam Waldbaum: “This will never fly!”
      • Lockmart engineer, Team Waldbaum, GLXP rover manufacturer
    • Michael Pinneo: “That’s incredibe!”
      • Former AmRoc scientist, power source for GLXP rover
glxp revolution1
GLXP Revolution

Technologies & Capabilities Coming out of

Team Phoenicia’s GLXP Bid

  • New Composite
    • New composite
      • -200 C to 300 C w/ no delaminations for 80 cycles
      • Corrosive compatible
    • Moldless composite manufacturing techniques
      • New composite continuous fiber symmetrical part manufacturing
      • Asymmetrical composite part manufacture
  • New Rocket Engine
  • New low cost manufacturing for aerospace parts
  • Potential rocket space tourism market as well
lobbed at us from the right coast
Nanosatellite Launcher Challenge

Announced Jul 13 2010

Largely ignored by team

Too much to do

Approached by others to team up


What part of too much to do…

Counter Offered

…and then…

Lobbed at us From The Right Coast
commercial potential blossoming
Under Contract with Three Teams for Nanosat Launchers

Vog Rockets


Seraphim Aerospace

Soneplanar Space Systems

(Can handle up to 7 more)

Hint hint hint

NSLC Contracts: Phased Approach.

1st: control

2nd speed

3rd / 4th orbit shots

Potential other clients

An established NewSpace firm wants our tanks

Lightness, cryo compatible, LOX “friendly”

A major beverage company has expressed interest in composite

Cryo compatible pressure vessels

Electric motorcycle company

strength, lightness, corrosion resistance

Two Aerospace composite manufacturers

To license composite for their own use

Commercial PotentialBlossoming
a republic of ideas
A Republic of Ideas
  • Helpful Community
  • Innovative Commentary
  • Extensive collective experience
  • Very little IP theft threat
  • Outstanding prototyping capability
  • Potential for seminars to give back (Nanosat Launcher Seminar)

…if this is what we can do in this environment…

going forward
Going Forward
  • Finish raising money for GLXP entry
    • See that tin cup?
    • Hint hint…hint hint HINT HINT!!! (#$%@! They took away my blink tag)
  • Find more sponsors
  • Testing
  • Compete in GLXP
  • Commercialize $GLXPDerivedTech[n+]
  • Found BAERA
    • Bay Area Experimental Rocketry Authority
    • A NewSpace TechShop testing ground
    • Lower barrier to entry 10x
    • Hope to Foster a Bay Area NewSpace Revolution
      • do not use the word “boom” with rockets!
    • Again…if this is what we could do…