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Post-flight Analysis

During the first flight, there was very, very minimal damage: one small grass stain (star thistle stain, actually) on the CM, and one of the fins had a small separation just behind the leading edge. It was easy to fix the fin with a little 60 second epoxy. The launch was on a G80-4T (single-use, […]


During NASA’s Moonfest celebration today, marking the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11’s flight, and with the help of Dr. Don Pettit, shuttle astronaut and ISS crew member, we launched. First flight was on a G80-4 single-use motor, second on a G64-4 reload. Two gorgeous flights! Many thanks to Cliff, Paul, Alan, and Dave, in particular, […]

Ready for Launch!

Only a few minor problems on the final phases of construction. The EVA handrails looked lousy after painting. It looks like the primer leached underneath the bottom side of the rails when I painted the second side (I’d laid them on a pice of folded-over blue low-tack masking tape, to keep them still while painting). […]

SM EVA Hand Rails Built, other Details Added

The hand rails for the CM pilot’s space walk are now built. Soldering small pieces of wire togethre on that scale was a little harder than I expected: I’m a bit out of practice with that stuff, alas. But, they’re done, look at least okay (maybe even better), and are half painted. (Why paint silver-colored […]

Q-ball, Paint Touch-up, etc.

Q-ball’s painted. I mixed some gray (primer, as it happened) and flat black, painted on with a brush. Doesn’t look great under the OptiVISOR #7 lens, but looks okay, and looks fine with the unaided eye. When I masked the fin fairings, I left a small crescent masked that should have been unmasked, and it […]

Main Painting Done, and More

The main painting is done, most of the decals are on: we’re getting close! Still to go: an umbillical disconnet (painted: no decal for the IU’s—nor for the S-IVB’s or the SM’s, but those are done), some touch-up, painting the Q-ball (nose of the launch escape system), and eight little tiny drain decals. Some clearcoat […]

RCS Nozzles, other Details

Those RCS nozzles are awfully small–but tiny paint flaws look awfully big under a #10 Optivisor lens! Though it feels good to be closing on completion, there’s still so much detail work left. Painting the nose cone atop the launch escape system is upcoming, with a bit of a challenge to mask it well. And […]

Unmasked, Masked, Unmasked, Ramasked…and Painted!

The SM is inverse masked, masked, masked, unmasked, and painted; the S-IC fin fairings are, too (roughly). The SM is silver; there are several white radiators around the SM, some near the top edge, some near the bottom. The top radiators are fairly small, and there are lots of them. The SM was painted white, […]