After a long time of stress test research and modelling, we’ve come to the point of making the first prototype of the ship’s structure by using a 3D printer. The scale was set to 1 : 37.000.000 This prototype is not only important to get a visual and touchable representation of the structure, but also to actually test the structures strength when filled with vacuum and exposed to the atmosphere of Mars. This test will be the next big step in our process to create a drone supporting vacuum airship which can be used on Mars. The first 3D printed model was meant to have a look at the general form of the structure. After making some minor adjustments to the weakest parts of this model, we were able to start the second 3D printed prototype. This time the structure was printed vertically and also on a slightly bigger scale 1 : 11.000.000. The length of the actual ship for Mars would be around 50 meter so it can carry enough payload to be useful.
Furthermore we’re glad to welcome 2 new members in our team. Matthias Desloovere and Niels Carlier are two Belgian students who study Aeronautical Engineering and they are very eager to participate in this project.