Here are some photos from the July 18, 2007, Construction Meeting.

Uh Oh!!! It's "sort of" coming together... We have the raw ingredients, and they look good, but there's a LOT of work to be done!

Launch will be SOON (August 25th), but we have some JOB OPENINGS!!!

Ron AG5RS is moving out of town. We need a Champion to pick up the gauntlet of Video Wizard. We will not have a new RC system for this flight, but Ron's previous work is solid and will do Great. We just need someone to fill Ron's shoes (not easy) and qualify the gear.

We need some Helium Help. Helium King Charlie K5ENG has abdicated his tank hauling activities. The darn SUV won't hold the tanks that fit so nicely in the pickup. He's got everything else under control, but SOMEONE needs to Get the Helium, take it to the Intergalactic Spaceport, and drag the empties back. We haven't heard from Helium Czar KC5JAR, but we ALWAYS need extra assistance on this front to report to King Charlie. There are bennies with this job. You get to suck Helium and make funny sounds.

Mikey KK5SC may have schedule conflicts for the August 25th launch date (cash talks). We have an opening for the position of Spaceport Ambassador. Any takers? The Ambassador will need to coordinate with the folks in Wharton for a hanger and provide launch info to those in the know at the Spaceport for NOTAMs and other related communications. It's not hard, but it's critical!

Care to join the Secret Inner Circle of the BLT? Let me know!

We have STUFF. We have LOTS of STUFF. This is just a small sample of the incredible inventory of STUFF that is available to send to The Edge Of Space!

Josh KE5FGC has taken on the responsibility of getting the autonomous backup APRS system for BLT-23 ready to go. The system had problems on BLT-22, but it is working NOW! Josh is investigating alternative TNC hardware. Andy W5ACM is smiling because his picture is being taken... Beyond that, I don't have the slightest idea if he is actually thinking about something...

We have a potential new Payload Manager! Michael W2CVZ has proposed that we do a remote-controlled Rocket Launch from altitude during the flight of BLT-23. We've been talking about this for years, but it's time to quit talking and LAUNCH SOMETHING! Work has begun to rig a controller from mothballed BLT-20 gear to do an RC launch from a relatively low altitude. Laurie K5LAB and Michael have been doing launch tests to determine descent rates with various parachutes. This will help with recovery efforts. This is COOL!

Test Launches have been made. The rocket has been selected. This Giant Rocket is set to go from BLT-23!

Do we want to get the rocket back? Heck YES! Michael has built a six-meter beacon into the nosecone of the rocket. The base frequency is 50.350 MHz. It's just a solid carrier, but with some good landing predictions and DF gear, a team of rocket chasers should be able to get results. The antenna is actually cut for the third harmonic, so configure your DF gear for two meter ops, specifically 151.050 MHz.

Here's the controller to launch the rocket. When it receives the correct audio-tone sequence from the camera-control receiver, it will send full payload buss voltage/current to the rocket ignition circuitry for a period of one second. We will be testing this a number of times to verify the system.

We had to dig up the BLT-20 payload container to use the pyrotechnic activation device. We will extract it and remount the necessary components in BLT-23.

WUPS!!! A simple rocket launch burned right through this piece of aluminum-foil-clad styrofoam. Not cool! Laurie and Michael are doing further tests...

If you have a pair of Mikes, do you have stereo??? Mike WB5QCC and Mike WA5TWT are getting Ready for the Final Moments of the BLT-23 Launch Campaign! For now, a few good homebrews and some "gars" make for a Great Evening!

Our Integration Meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 15, 2007, at the Secret BLT Lab (310 Lombardy) in Sugar Land - 8 PM till 10 PM.

Launch is scheduled for 10 AM on August 25, 2007 from the Wharton Intergalactic Spaceport. Be There!!!