Completed and painted lander legs and engine tube
August 2011 Construction Report
August starts where July left off. I feel that the
Mars Lander Project is on a roll and I want to keep it rolling. The
balsa nose cone that was previously sealed was sanded and primed. The
lander’s legs were painted but the fresh cans of Dupli-Color had no
sheen. I finally found an old can of Krylon Red in the garage and use
that to paint the legs. An old Testor’s silver bottle and brush
sufficed for the cylinder and landing pads. I tested a spot on the legs
with Dupli-Color high gloss clear coat and again it took the gloss
away. Once I repainted the test spot, the completed legs were set
aside. Dupli-Color always worked well for me in the past but I think I
am going to stay away from them for a while.
The short aluminum braces were cut to length using
the supplied template. The three centering rings were installed on the
engine tube at the measure marks and the four aluminum braces installed
through the centering rings. The rings and braces were epoxied in place
and the engine tube assembly set aside.
The lines were marked on the descent stage and the
lander leg slots were cut. The gear housings were epoxied and then
additional epoxy was added to form fillets along the gear housings.
After drying, the remaining length of the slots were cut. The descent
assembly was sanded and primed.
One of the 7.5 inch couplers was centered and epoxied to the aft
parallel line was drawn down the parachute tube and the 1/4 inch launch
lug was epoxied on. The nose cone was sanded and fitted. The three
cardboard shrouds were cut and the fabric paint carefully applied. The
fabric paint added a raised detail to the shrouds similar to the
vacuumed formed plastic of the original Mars Lander kit. The shrouds
were then wind up to form its characteristic cone shape.
The earthquake on August 23, 2011, the thunderstorms, and then
Hurricane Iren forced the Mars Lander project back on the shelf while
more important things took precedence. I hope to pick the project back
up in September.
As August came to end, steps 13 – 26 have been checked off the list.
There are 21 steps remaining.
By Peter E. Abresch Jr.
Slotted descent stage, gear housings, and engine tube
assembly in progress
bulk head, parachute tube with launch lug, and primed descent stage
cardboard shrouds with fabric painted details