Lift-off for Jerboa HAB project

Today we created our first (partially) working prototype of the balloon! The initial design for 4 semi-circular sections was quickly replaced with a 2-circle approach, where we cut out two one-meter diameter circles from our roll of plastic. This was because the extra work involved in welding 4 sections, combined with the welds being the weakest part of the balloon meant that there was no purpose in the extra effort involved.

We welded them together in tangential sections, eventually ending up with a mylar balloon shape. The plastic we were using was slightly damaged, meaning we had to re-weld some parts of it a few times, but at the end of today’s session we were able to fill up the balloon with air and leave it in the DPO for inspection next week – only time will tell if it has leaked!

Greg with the inflated balloon (half of the welder can be seen on the table behind the balloon)