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Official Armadillo Q&A thread

Posted by: John Carmack - Tue Jun 15, 2004 8:01 am
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Official Armadillo Q&A thread 
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Spaceflight Trainee
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Post    Posted on: Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:56 pm
I was inspired to put the media update into a movie, I hope you guys don't mind. =)

http://media.putfile.com/Amradillo-Aerospace-taking-the-Lunar-Lander-Challenge-durring-the-2006-XprizeCup


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Post    Posted on: Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:45 pm
The flightvideos of Pixel are very nice. Congratulations on what you achieved at the cup.

When looking at the videos, I noticed something odd.
This video, at the 17th second, you can see something falling off from what looks like the engine. Any idea what this was? Some piece of the nozzle perhaps?


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Post    Posted on: Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:51 pm
Darknesss wrote:
This video, at the 17th second, you can see something falling off from what looks like the engine. Any idea what this was? Some piece of the nozzle perhaps?


It was one of the leather "rocket socks."


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Post Video Format   Posted on: Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:47 am
[quote="Matthew Ross"]I just posted the X Prize Cup media update on the Armadillo site: http://www.armadilloaerospace.com/n.x/A ... ews_id=337

Lots of nice things to view.[/quote]

I am having problems playing your .wmv files with VLC, any chance you can post .mpg or .mp4 versions?


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Post Re: Video Format   Posted on: Sun Oct 29, 2006 5:56 am
Earl Colby Pottinger wrote:
...any chance you can post .mpg or .mp4 versions?


I can't post the "four square" videos in MPEG 1 because it doesn't support that resolution. I'll have to look into .mp4 - I probably could, and we would like to post videos that are more platform independent.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:14 pm
This guy Jeffrey F. Bell is a bit of a jerk! :? His article basically says to not bother experimenting with rocket propulsion unless you can come up with a warp drive.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/A_Sec ... s_999.html

Excerpts from the article...
"This lunar lander competition was the most senseless event at Las Cruces."

In reference to Pixel's landing gear...
"Anyone with a lick of engineering sense in their head could see that this design would suffer exactly the sort of accidents that knocked it out of the competition."
Harsh.....this was Pixel's very first attempt at landing, or take-off from the ground. AA was concentrating on their engine design and would have identified the landing gear as a problem if they had more time. It is truly remarkable that Pixel performed as well as it did!


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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:14 am
The problem, and i'm generalizing here, with tha ATL.SPACE community, is that everyone treats these companies with Kidde gloves. God help us if we openly criticize someone.

Armadillo had a landing gear issue at last years X-Cup. I would have thought that someone designing a lander, especially after already having had gear trouble, would have spent some of the time they were waiting for approval to design a real landing gear system that could handle the abuse that an experimental vehicle might (and obviously did) place on it.

Remember Kids, it's always the details that kill you.

My $ 0.02 worth. Buck.Bunny


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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:33 am
Buck.Bundy wrote:
I would have thought that someone designing a lander, especially after already having had gear trouble, would have spent some of the time they were waiting for approval to design a real landing gear system that could handle the abuse that an experimental vehicle might (and obviously did) place on it.


Armadillo was never just waiting around for approval. We spent almost all of our time leading up to the Cup trying to work out an injector that wouldn't burn itself (without a working reliable engine, the lander gear issue is moot). We always planned on testing the landing gear, but ran out of time. We could have said, "well, we didn't get all our testing done so we'll just skip this year," or, we could have done what we did - give it a shot and end up testing the gear right there in front of everyone.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:01 am
Wasn't last years problem a COG problem, rather than landing gear?

The low, wide Quad vehicle was the response to that problem. They just didn't have enough time to dial in the landing speed, and beef up the shocks. Sounds like one extra week would have done it.

John mentioned something about a Navy site? Is that for tethered testing?


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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:19 am
WannabeSpaceCadet wrote:
Wasn't last years problem a COG problem, rather than landing gear?


Last year's landing problem and this year's were indeed quite different, but either could have been solved by different landing gear. But because Buck.Bundy merely referred to us having had "landing gear trouble," we can't really quarrel - that is indeed true to a degree.

WannabeSpaceCadet wrote:
John mentioned something about a Navy site? Is that for tethered testing?


It's the ex Naval Air Station in Dallas now just called Hensley Field. For now, it would either be for tethered testing or untethered flights under 15 seconds (to avoid AST purview), though I am not sure the Hensley people have yet agreed to anything untethered. Also, it's right under Dallas class Bravo airpace, so there's not much we could do there to altitude anyway.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:21 pm
WannableSpaceCadet wrote:
Wasn't last years problem a COG problem, rather than landing gear?



If it wasn't a wind problem or a landing pad problem...I remember it as a line clearing spike problem or a control system inversion problem or both. Perhaps memory fails me, so maybe it was a COG problem and a landing gear problem too :-)


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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:50 pm
Matthew Ross wrote:
We could have said, "well, we didn't get all our testing done so we'll just skip this year," or, we could have done what we did - give it a shot and end up testing the gear right there in front of everyone.
And I thank you for doing it! There may be a few naysayers giving you grief over it, but the vast majority of space enthusiasts and I think your flights were the highlight of the cup. :)


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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:11 pm
nihiladrem wrote:
I remember it as a line clearing spike problem or a control system inversion problem or both. Perhaps memory fails me, so maybe it was a COG problem and a landing gear problem too :-)


You're correct about the main causes. I just think you could also consider it a landing gear issue because if that rocket had wider gear, that probably could have kept it from tipping over. But the real way to address that tip over was about the pulse on landing and doing something different about the gimbal inversion problem, the latter being not so easily solvable on that rocket.

Also, as John points out, the wider landing gear on the Vertical Dragster weighs as much as one of the propellant tanks, so just adding wider gear is not the greatest way to address these issues either.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:51 am
The quad tank layout is actually a very clever way to spread out the landing gear without adding much in the way of structural mass.

It just needed to be a little stonger, with a slower descent rate. Both of which are now being addressed.

I second the thanks for having a go anyway. You guys still rock!


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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:56 am
Great videos, thanks guys, it really gives a sense of how close you were to success. Don't know about anyone else but I can't watch them without saying stuff like "left and out a bit, just a little more, nonono, too much, back to me... damn, so close..."


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