Mach 10 Butterflies

The past few weeks have been total roller coasters. Between Tiff’s health problems, trying to wrap up my thesis, and what we’ve been up to at work lately, things have been nuts. It looks like it was very fortunate that I was able to get my thesis stuff done (for now) by Monday morning, because the rest of this week we’ve been in an all-out push to get XA-0.1 ready to fly. When that Gradall showed up Monday was when it really sunk in for me that we’re almost there. Well, that and bolting the ACS system onto the vehicle this afternoon and watching the engine hinges move around as the vehicle hung under the tether. We were within seconds of trying to do an tethered hold-down test tonight with the ACS running (ie the vehicle is on a tether 7 feet above the test stand, with the hold-down bolt on the bottom of the vehicle chained to the stand), but with how crazy the wind was, we didn’t think we’d be able to do so safely, so we scrubbed for the night.

The last time I was this nervous, stressed, and almost giddy with excitement was that first firing in front of the crowd there at the X-Prize Cup last year (both Ian and Dave said the exact same thing). I’ve got butterflies in my stomach, and they’re hypersonic.

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Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff

President/CEO at Altius Space Machines
Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
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3 Responses to Mach 10 Butterflies

  1. john hare says:

    I probably can’t match your butterflies, but I have a fair collection of my own. If this year goes well, I will be able to get back in the game on my own terms. 🙂 Keep on keeping on and you will get there. Good luck in all fields.

  2. Rand Simberg says:

    I think that “Hypersonic Butterflies” would be a great band name.

    And John, give me a call and let me know what’s going on (are you still working in Fort Lauderdale)?

  3. anonymous.space says:

    Good luck to Jon and the rest of the Masten! We’re looking forward to some real competition at this year’s X PRIZE Cup. Make us proud!

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