Thursday, October 29, 2009

Did Ask for a Photo?



Yes, it's unfinished there and the tanks are not in their proper positions. However, we've had requests for pix, soooo....we'll tease with one.

Oh yes. We were interviewed as part of a piece for one of our sponsors. We'll see if the WSJ keeps our part. Or not. We were rather more photogenic (well, the rocket was) than many of the others interviewed.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

More Tank Yous

Wordle: Team Phoenicia Tank Yous

Should We Stay or Should We Go Now?

Should we go?

Or no?

The funny part is that Team Phoenicia is not interested in the suborbital market. As odd as it may seem, we're not even that interested in pursuing the cheap access to orbit problem: it's hard and we have enough of a learning curve to deal with as it is. It'd be ten years at the rate we are going before we are able to make a stab at it, truthfully.

So what are we interested in doing? Beyond participating in the competitions?

We'll confess later.

However, for those that participate in the above, thoughts?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Second Artful Offer

Zachary Miller, a semi pro paleo artist, has like Scott Elyard made an offer for those that contribute. For those that give more than $100 dollars, Zach is willing to render works of a nondigital form. Here is what he said:

Good old Scott Elyard has pledged to do a piece of original art for anybody who donates $200 or more to [Team Phoenicia]. Good for him, but I'll do one better. You donate a mere $100 (who doesn't have a spare $100?), and I will draw you a dinosaur of your choosing on bristolboard, inked and everything, signed, dated, the whole shebang. And it doesn't even have to a dinosaur. It can be a non-dinosaurian archosaur if you want. Hell, there are certain mammals I will consider.
His cost is lower, but his focus is more specific. His offer is from his blog.

If you donate, please drop a note to contact at team phoenicia dooot org denoting which artist you wish to have do your work. We'll coordinate from there.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

An Artful Lift-off: A Offer of Help

Team Phoenicia is pleased that we have been getting help and support of people making donations and buying ad space. We appreciate it deeply and we are getting some, but we have a long, long ways to go and not much time.

Scott Elyard has been a supporter of Team Phoenicia for some time. All of you know him from his renderings of the simulated flight of The Wind at Dawn and the IIP that we have up on youtube. While not only a very good at renderings, he's also quite talented at old fashioned art, pen and paper. He approached the team with a generous offer:

I will provide, for these three donors, color pen-and-ink originals or my art of a subject of the recipient's choosing. Work will be on high-gloss paper 8.5"x11", done with RapidoGraph® pen and watercolor or non-cloogging inks, and I will assume the shipping costs. These commissions will be done by no later than the end of this November, 2009.

Team Phoenicia must be paid directly the $200 or more by the 14th of September for this offer to be valid. We'll arrange the details after the payment is cleared.
From here.

Examples of his work can be found on Coherent Lighthouse.

We may be able to get him to do some animations for you. However, that will have to be negotiated and it won't be cheap. Trust us. We know. However, having the graphics has helped us at Team Phoenicia with getting sponsors immensely. For those of you starting businesses, trust us, a snazzy presentation makes a world of difference. We'll see if we can torture Scott a bit. He's tentatively agreed. We're sorting out details.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Race to Raise Cash

While Team Phoenicia has been very successful in relative terms for getting in-kind sponsorships - that is to say a vendor contributing their product in exchange for promoting them - we have had a lot of tough times getting enough outright cash. We've had some help via paypal, but the vast majority of cash expenditures have been out of the team leader's own pocket.

Team Phoenicia hasn't exactly been on the shoestring, but we've also emphatically not been swimming in cash. Each purchase has had to be weighed and carefully. A lot of times, 'good enough' - or so we think - components have been substituted for the ones we want.

This year the X Prize Foundation raised the bar for how much it costs to get into the LLC. They had pretty good reasons and its kept a lot of people out that have been working on the shoestring. However, it may be that it'll keep us out. No matter what, we'll fly. Our goal is to demonstrate the capability so we can get backing for the Google Lunar X Prize. And immortality.

However, we of Team Phoenicia are a tenacious lot. We're not ready to give up on getting into the LLC. To that end, in order to raise the cash to participate in the LLC, we are offering individuals or groups that wish to see their name on the rockets. Namely, we are offering up the center RP-1 tanks - one per rocket - to get tank tattoos by anyone for any logo or wording or picture or even just their name.

We do reserve the right to exercise a discretionary veto. However, we're pretty flexible folks and most messages will probably be acceptable. Anyone that buys the tank tattoo will get their money back if we veto what they want to say.

We had about 7850 square centimeters up for sale. We have already sold 11 sq cm of that. We are charging $10/sq cm. There are additional charges for more optimal placing. Otherwise, it will be a first come, first serve ad-cloud.

To get this, just hit the donate button on the side. If all you want is your name, you do not have to do anything more. If you wish to have a specific message within your space, a company logo, or a picture, you will have to do the above, but you will also need to email contact at team phoenicia dt org: if you don't contribute, you won't get noticed for a special request. We get a silly amount of spam there and if we are not looking for you, we will regard your message with suspicion.

First pix are coming nex week. Assuming the Team Leader's Baby doesn't first.

That said, we'd like to thank Carlos Yu, Lisa Geoffrion, Tom Palmer, and Marilee Layman for their purchases.

Wordle: Team P wordcloud 1

(it'll be clearer than that, promise, the sections will be distinct)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Three Projects Really

Paul Breed of Unreasonable Rocket, we think at the SAS09, stated that building your rocket was not enough, that there was a whole separate and equally (if not more so) project of coding to make sure everything works as it should, when it should, where it should. Let's just say, we completely agreed. Those rackin, frackin little COMs...

*starts strangling a computer...*

Ahem.

Pardon me.

We absolutely agree with Paul. Yet we disagree. There are actually three projects involved here.

The first acknowledged is building the rocket. We have assembled The Wind at Dawn, are nearing so with The Pale Glow of the Stars, and we are manufacturing The Bright Flash of Chicxulub. Aluminum is your friend. Stainless steel is your sadistic bully in grade school.

The second is the coding. Even on a single rocket, if you shift things, as happens when you are working with a mock-up/prototype, you have to rework bits of the code to make sure everything stays in balance when you fire. Especially with our design.

There is still a third project though. This predates the others and is ongoing until the project is finished. This one is funding the whole endeavor. Team Phoenicia has been chasing down sponsors with a large club for a while now. We have been extraordinarily lucky. Or just plain persistent.

We have been asked by other people, sometimes from other teams and sometimes from people in other competitions, how we have been able to get so many sponsors. The truth of the matter is that we have been pounding the pavement for some time. Seeking sponsorship isn't for the faint of heart or those without endurance. You have to keep knocking on doors, asking people, and networking to get what you need. You seriously wear out your shoes. Proverbially or real. And sometimes you even suffer from burnout.

In truth, Team Phoenicia has had about a 5% success rate. For every sponsor you see on the side, we have had around 20 turn us down. 20 presentations. With 10 man-hours of work for each one. On average. Some more, some less. For each sponsor, we've invested around 210 man-hours. For our total sponsorship, that's almost 1500 man-hours.

That is a project in and of itself.

Whether it's enough, we'll see.

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Sponsor: Specialty Hose!


Team Phoenicia is also proud to announce that Specialty Hose has become a sponsor of our efforts to compete in the Second Level competition for the Lunar Lander Challenge. Specialty Hose has very generously provided Team Phoenicia with the steel braided hose for our landers. Specialty Hose's excellent steel braided hose is being used for the LOX, RP-1 and helium lines to and from the propellant tanks. Once again, Team Phoenicia is very thankful to the help we have recieved from Specialty Hose's sponsorship. Their contribution to our entry has made it possible for us to compete.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Sponsor: TechShop!


Team Phoenicia is proud to announce that TechShop is a sponsor of our efforts for the Lunar Lander Challenge.

This is a very overdue announcement, but Team Phoenicia has most definitely been building our dreams at TechShop. The Wind at Dawn, The Pale Glow of the Stars and The Bright Flash of Chicxulub were/are all being machined and assembled there. Without the help of their highly competent staff, their excellent facilities, and their excellent, hands-on classes, Team Phoenicia would not have made virtually any progress on our goals to participate in the Lunar Lander , Challenge and, ultimately, in the Google Lunar X Prize.

Our thanks is deep and heart felt thanks goes out to TechShop and all its employees.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Countdown

We have been a little remiss is reporting our newest sponsors as of late. We are a little consumed with getting ourselves through the hoops of getting the cash together to pay for the entry fee. It's a bit daunting since none of us are well enough off to afford it singularly and collectively, well, we've had some events that a bit limiting financially. It'd suck if the reason we can't participate is only monetary after having collected so much backing...but we'll see.

Even so, Team Phoenicia will forge ahead and fly either way. We will be meeting the requirements for the LLC, whether or not we can afford the LLC entry fee.

At any rate, new posts coming through!

PS: Anyone that wants to support the team, there's an DONATE button over on the side there. ;)

Friday, April 3, 2009

New Sponsor: AirGas


We are proud to announce that AirGas has become a sponsor for Team Phoenicia in the Lunar Lander Challenge. AirGas, the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases and related hardgoods, is sponsoring Team Phoenicia by providing all of the liquid oxygen (LOX) and helium that the team needs for thorough testing and participation in the LLC. Team Phoenicia's rocket design, The Wind at Dawn, uses kerosene and LOX for its propellant combination. Without AirGas' sponsorship, Team Phoenicia would be unable to do nearly as thorough a test program as will now be possible. This greatly increases our chances of winning the Lunar Lander Challenge.

Both AirGas and Team Phoenicia are both very excited by the prospects this partnership brings. This is a tremendous sponsorship and Team Phoenicia is deeply grateful!

Now a word about our sponsor:

Airgas, Inc.(NYSE: ARG), through its subsidiaries, is the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases and related hardgoods, such as welding supplies. Airgas is also a leading U.S. distributor of safety products, the largest U.S. producer of nitrous oxide and dry ice, the largest liquid carbon dioxide producer in the Southeast, and a leading distributor of process chemicals, refrigerants and ammonia products.

Airgas Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter McCausland founded the company in 1982. Through more than 350 acquisitions and internal growth, Airgas has built the largest national distribution network in the packaged gas industry. More than 14,000 employees work in more than 1,100 locations includes branches, cylinder fill plants, production facilities, specialty gas laboratories, and regional distribution centers to serve a diversified customer base. Airgas markets through multiple channels, including its own branches and outside sales force, a Strategic Accounts Team focused on large customers, distributors and resellers, telesales, catalog and eBusiness channels.



Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Sponsor: Online Metals



Team Phoenicia is proud to announce that Online Metals, a ThyssenKrupp, NA Company, has joined Wind River, Ansoft, and emachineshop.com in our pursuit of the X Prize's Lunar Lander Challenge. Online Metals has agreed to and delivered the material necessary for the construction of the structure our rocket, The Wind at Dawn. Even more graciously, they are in the process of delivering the material for a second rocket and enough for a third will follow as Team Phoenicia is ready. With this great generousity, Team Phoenicia will be able to construct test our design in an extraordinarily thorough manner.

The Wind at Dawn's first structure will be complete within a week. Without Online Metals' help, this would not have happened nearly as quickly or as well. We thank them deeply for their aid.

Now from our sponsor:

Since 1998, OnlineMetals.com has been the Web's most dependable online store for small quantities of metal plastic and more. Buy online, or over the phone. The OnlineMetals team offers their complete support, and will ship materials right to your door.

OnlineMetals' stocks a variety of aluminum, copper, brass, stainless steel, bronze, hot roll steel, cold roll steel, titanium, tool steel, zinc, nickel, and most industrial plastics. The newest additions to their inventory include expanded metal, decorative sheet, metal tiles,
tool room supplies, and patinas.

OnlineMetals specializes in cut to length materials, so you buy only what you need, and there are no minimum orders. Their products have been used in a wide variety of customer applications, and they're pleased to add Team Phoenicia's The Wind At Dawn Rocket to the list.

Blowing Away the Dust

There has been a lot going on at Team Phoenicia since we last posted.

We have added team members.

We have added more sponsors.

We have bent metal.

We are set.

We will be flying and quite soon.

Over the next month we will be putting up a lot of blog posts. Today we will be starting with one of our new sponsors.