KSC Report: Day 1 Practice

Posted by Mike Sklar.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]

Engineer on team #21, ComBBAT , from Astronaut H.S. and Titusville H.S. and Brevard Community College and Boeing Company and NASA-KSC.

Posted on 3/9/2000 9:31 PM MST

Well the FIRST day of the 2000 FIRST season is now complete. And an incredible day at KSC it was. Clear skys and about 85 degrees. 30 Teams are here and many are experienced, tough Florida teams.

Two common designs have emerged. One is what I call the articulating boom design. It’s a single tube bailer, that rotates and extends. Most of these teams have a hook on the extension of the bailer and can get them up on the bar. These teams handle 3-5 balls reliable and can get up on the bar reliably. There about 5-8 machines like this at KSC. (Out of 29 teams). The second machine is the fruit basket, These are scissor lift machines with simple open baskets/frames at the top. They can only load from the HP and reliably drop in 4 balls or so at time. They have time to do about two loads. And that’s it they cannot hang on the bar. There’s about 5 of these at KSC. Only about 15-20 machines really running well. The 2 teams to beat so far, in my opinion are:
Baxter (Tampa) Heatwave Team 312
Motorola Dillard Sigma Cats Team 267

Motorola has an amazing fold up machine that handles 4-6 balls very reliably. They load floor balls into an articulating chute very quickly. And locks on the bar with 4 hooks very rapidly. Heat wave is an articulating bailer that is very solid. Thier drivers are 4th year drivers and they are solid!

That’s all for now. Look for more tomorrow after approx 7 or 10 qual matches. And wish us, the Boeing ComBBAT team luck.