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.