Friday, February 19, 2010

Savior Miller, pipes and family Heckel

Evgeniy Svyatenko
Moonbuggy team russia 2010

February 15th, 2010

Monday, as we know - the heavy day. At 7am arises easier, but still not with big will. Muesli and coffee and forth to the workplace. Details are a lot. Many of them needs to be bend, cut, mill, grind and trimmed, and TBAs. In the morning I started to trim welding seams on one of the parts. To me came shortly Master Miller and kindly offered a new tools with which job moved much faster and more convenient. Master Miller really helps us a lot, for which he thank you very much. Then I cut off squarely at the detail sharpening stone, and in principle it was finished.

Then it came to facilitate of the front Bike-Shaft. Then ran Eugene, tired for CADing, and began to tear for mill. Stephen began to rush us because it came time for dinner.

In the dining room, we expect to see Ralf, who this morning went to the cutting of pipes, but he still not appeared. When we came into the workshop, Ralf was there and asked how was the food. Stephen went to continue milling, and the whole Russian part of the team went with Ralf to look like cut the pipes. As soon as we started to leave the shop, suddenly came to a bearded man. It was Ralfs father. He cheerfully greeted Master Muller. He must clearly heard a lot about him. At cuttins pipes went five of us. Machinery for cutting pipe, I began to discuss with Ralf how best to do it, but ultimately decided to rely on the expertise of Ralf. He painted a white line marker for the entire length, so that later it was easier to combine the angular connection. But apparently due to the fact that the cutting of metal is machined by a solution of soap and water, on the spot through found was difficult. First, Ralf offered to find an angle, which is only 4 degrees, with the help of a steel strip. Here again came to the aid of Master Miller. He lent us a very accurate protractor, which is kept in a wooden case with velvet interior decoration. With goniometers was a little simpler. Checkpoints for welding decided to target notches.

Then Ralf built a special tool for disassembly Rohloff. Even after 5000 miles insides were like new. Rohloff was necessary to make out that Ronny has changed the design of its enclosure, or chain at work rubbing on him.

At the dinner evening in a hostel were parents of Ralph. His mother baked a pumpkin pie with prunes and dried apricots. Everyone asked supplements. Then we got to try pumpkin soup. It was delicious too.


Back again at the Moonbuggy

Stefan Martini
Moonbuggy Team Germany 2010

translated by Regina Peldszus, London

Borsdorf, 15.2.2010

At 8am, after a short night at the SEI Hostel and a quick breakfast, we're on our way to the Vocational Training & Technology Center of the Chamber of Trade Leipzig. Out team mates from Moscow have already been holding the fort here for the previous week. For me it's the first day at the center and will therefore be an unusual and eventful day.

I joined SEI 4 years ago, and built the first international Moonbuggy exactly 3 years ago. The conditions we worked in are incomparable with the possibilities of the center today. We had a blank sheet and didn't know where to start. SEI didn't have a workshop back then. We bolted and milled in an old shed and in the yard. A tunnel by wood served as protection from snow and the demolition of the nearby old pub, the Green Inn. Our fingers nearly froze off and we didn't know CAD. I was constantly exhausted from working so much and my hands hurt at the end of each day. I was young and didn't have a clue what I was getting myself into. But we were intrigued and driven by anticipation and not least a strong team spirit. These were true pioneering years and I remember them fondly. sie liebevoll.

February 2007 / February 2010

Today everything is different. A giant vocational training center opens its doors. The halls are warm, there are tons of machines that we could have only dreamt of those days.There's everything! I can move about as I wish and don't have to painstakingly search for potential partners in the telephone book, receiver in hand. The people are nice and show me all I need to know. The team has a Moonbuggy that's proven its worth and has been improved continuously over 3 years. We can concentrate on details. And the buggy became more complex over time.

February 2007 / February 2010

I have to get into delicate drives, into telemetry technology and software evaluation, into calculations, analyses and construction with professional engineering software. I look at the buggy ad try to understand the changes. And I realise, not without pride, that the fundamental design of the frame hasn't changed much. I've had input into all main pieces of the frame. So we must have done a solid piece of work back then. I'm starting work on the same part I stopped working on 3 years ago, the bike-shaft. My job is now to make it lighter without compromising on stability. When we get to the center, we find a nearly empty workshop. Only master Müller and an apprentice are on location. Everyone else is in a training session and only supposed to return later.

After unloading the van of Mr Wittenbecher we start work on the new parts. At first we need an overview. So we get Yevgeny Zakutin's notebook out and talk through a CAD file to figure out what to work on today.

I'll be taking care of milling holes in the bike-shaft of the buggy, without ever having worked on a mill before. But rescue is near: master Müller lends a hand, shows me the biggest machine in the room and gives me an induction. He mills the first of 11 holes that are solely designed to save weight. Afterwards, he lets me get on with it, gives some advice and controls the results. As surprisingly easy it is to the drill the holes accurately, the harder it is to recalibrate the machine. My hands are not used to it and get the first blisters. But with time, I'm getting used to it and the apprentices that have come back give me a hand.

Time flies and before I've finished with the holes it's lunchtime already. I want to finish my work, however. So I stay until I'm done and wait for our Russian team mates who also want to get their parts finished.

After refreshments we start on the other bike-shaft. This one needs holes to save weight too. Thanks to the practice earlier this is working well - practice makes perfect. After we're done with this one too, we see to further weight savings on the bottom of the part. Due to the angular structure of the part it is sometimes hard to clamp it. Also, the holes won't be round but customized according to our drawings. This is more demanding and you need to focus. This concentration lasts til midnight - until writing the daily report.

At the end of the day, I go to bed and crash. We got a lot of stuff done today, but we have to admit that there is still a lot to do until completion of the Moonbuggy. Afterall there are many possibilities to improve the buggy, even when you think you're done. We'll find them. During the last years, we never really considered weight. It was all about sorting out stability and the basic functions. Now we're tracking down every gram of weight, and Yevgeny can calculate exactly how much we're saving with the different steps of each task. Also, once the parts are digitised, he can calculate them in different materials. Thus we know that a construction of aluminum would be ideal. The computer is then suggesting additional rods.

I have only spent 3 hours watching him use the software, and realised that I still have a lot to catch up with.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Day Four

Friday, February 13th, 2010

from Cyril Kosik
Moonbuggy Team Russia 2011
translated by Regina Peldszus, London

Today is Friday. It could be a short day of work, as there is a German saying "From Friday 1pm, everyone's doing their own thing". We still have a lot to do, though, and hope we don't have to stop earlier. Yevgeny (Svyatenko) carries on drilling holes with a subland twist drill in a rectangular hollow section. I fettle the remaining pipes at the ends so they can be welded there. Then I make a fastening plate for the front gear box. First I drill a hole with a drill press, then remove the superfluous material with a chisel, and file the outlines of the part. There is still a little bump in the outer corner, but I'll see to that on Monday.

Then Ralf brings the freshly welded new Bike-Shaft from the welding workshop. I work on the welds with an angle grinder on the bench vise. Then we place the positions for the weight-saving drill holes. The whole assembly needs to be lighter yet. Then we all took the hollow sections to the welder's. It's very clean and tidy there. There are modern Argon and Co2 welding machines everywhere in small chambers. After a small induction with colleagues from the welding workshop, Ralf and the others left. I stayed in order to assist the welder by joining parts and making them stay put. The welder then fixed and welded them in place. It was my responsibility to do it in the right order. One of the welders spoke Russan. His name was Ilya and he was from Alma Ata. When my help wasn't needed anymore, I waited for Ralf to take the welded axle back. I spent the time talking to Ilya about life in Germany and Russia. It was pleasant to speak to someone from Russia so far away from home.

When we got back, several students were already working on our Moonbuggy. Ronny turns hulls for the frame. Robert mills weight-saving holes and intersections for the pipes. Master Müller himself turns axles on the lathe. The whole workshop is in a Moonbuggy fever.

Friday turned out not to be so short afterall, we only left the workshop at 3pm to visit another company. With Ronny Hessel (Günther Jakob turnery) we inspect the first 5 differential gears. They also mill a turning circle in the Bike-Shaft with a CNC machine. Ronny's company has good, interesting and expensive machines, as well as loads of good precision tools.

Shortly afterwards it's getting dark already and Ralf takes us sightseeing. There's the old trade fair built in the early 20th century. The Russian pavillion from Soviet times is still there with a golden spire and red star. Even the letters USSR are still next to it. Then it's on to the Monument of the Battle of the Nations. The monument was opened in 1913, on the centenniary of the battle of Austria, Prussia and Russia against the army of Napoleon. The battle cost 130,000 lives. The monument is 91m high and has a viewing platform on top. We weren't able to get in, though, as it was already closed. The monument was supposed to be demolished twice, first by the US army and then by the Red Army. According to the calculations of the shot firer, however, in both cases the blast turned out to be too costly and wouldn't be of any use. Thus the Monument of the Battle of the Nations was conserved.

Then we're off to the New Year's reception of the BVMW. The day today was really interesting and insightful.

Image Gallery:


Thursday, February 12th, 2010

from Cyril Kosik
Moonbuggy Team Russia 2011
translated by Regina Peldszus, London

Last night we attended the New Year's reception of the BVMW. Ralf had an invitation. It's a conference of representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises in Leipzig and attracts attendants from adjacent federal states. This time, there were 1,500 guests. We quickly changed at home and made our way to the central station to meet Ralf's German students who arrive on train. Thommy, Stefan and René will be working with us during the weekend.

The finance minister of Saxony, Mr Sven Morlok, gave a speech in front of a packed conference venue. Ralf tried to translate some of it. One of my personal highlights was the fact that the Saxonian government has put aside 1 billion Euros for road improvement. Then we visit company stands in the trade fair and talk business with several people. Afterall, we're looking for sponsors. The meeting of course includes a buffet with delicious food.

We talked to Thommy and Stefan about their education at our institute. We tried to speak German and to read a German newspaper. That was quite entertaining and a lot of fun. Then we asked Thommy to read in Russian. Hilarious! The event was over and we went home. Tomorrow is Saturday and we can have a lie-in.

Image gallery:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday - new axles and new business

Evgeniy Svyatenko
Moonbuggy team russia 2010

February 12th, 2010

Wake up at 7. At the breakfast Evgeniy said that he went to bed just at 5 o'clock, so the whole day he would be as a zombie. He takes the butter on knife realizing that forget about bread. Friday starts as an end of the world because if we don't make lots of stuff in workshop today next time will be just on Monday, but it is still a lot to be done.

In workshop everybody take his work. Evgeniy continue e-drawings, Ralf goes to water-cut machine, Kirill and i start to clean details. Suddenly comes her Mueller to make some photo with us. It is nice because it means that we are interesting for him as a guests. I am making chassis for four moonbuggys. Calls Ralf and asks to bring his coat to the cafeteria.

After dinner moonbuggy team Russia goes to the welding fabrication. Kirill stays to help welder. I and Evgeniy go back to continue our job. Until chassis is done it come back axles with Kirill. I make some cleaning of the welding seam. We all go home early because of the evening meeting.

Shower, classic suite, some coffee. It comes Tommy. Now we all together drive to the Leipzig Congress Center to one of the most important meetings for the middle business. There we met Rene and Stephan - old students of Ralf. The financial minister of Saxony is here to support businessmen. I understand now why it is a big problem in Russia with roads. We don't spend such much money for it.

The event is looking like in Russia. Stand-up meal, music and exhibition booths. Nice pirelli booth with the solar oil filter. Big booth of BVMW with newspapers assembled with information from other newspapers in which i found some news from Russia. Interesting that there just German, English and Russian languages. Some funny jokes with new German friends and its time to go home. Сloakroom is very cute and we played a little bit with her in thimblerig because all checks are the same from one side. Ralf lose and get his coat last. I assuage him by telling that the luck is always on the side of fools.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Exhibition of the painting competition Moonbuggy

Ralf Heckel

Herewith the pictures will be exhibited, which were painted by the first group of the Child's english school in February 2010. The students had the 2010 Moonbuggy paint on their own ideas. The proposals will now be collected for a voting at the end of the holiday. together with the work of the second group.

This students painted drawings:

Julia Angeli (9)
Luisa Angeli (6)
Lane Authman (9)
Christian Beckert
Pascal Bock (9)
Theresa Nooijer (11)
Alexander Dieffenbach (13)
Elena Dierich (9)
Sarah Wiesehöfer (14)
Tamino Girshausen (9)
Cheyenne Girshausen (7)
Jo-Ann Hertwig (5)
Kevin Köckeritz (11)
Elias Kohn (19)
Annelie Rodestock (9)
Franz Rodestock (10)
Hannah Schmidt (8)

The actions of the Winter Space Camp program for 2010 with the International Space Education Institute are seen here in pictures:

Painting Competition
Technical Excursion

Shuttle launch STS-130

Handwork and Pelmeny

Evgeniy Svyatenko
Moonbuggy team russia 2010

So, it's passed some time after my last report and whats done? First we solved a lot of problems with the back chassis and sitting. E-drawing sometimes makes us cry but it seems that all cleared and will be produced on weekend. Second we received all materials what makes us feel free from one of the usual biggest problem. Third thing is that we a become alowed to work with machine tools so everything much faster.

Milling machine is very nice, but nothing will replace the hand-working. File in hand - shave over the feet. After all steel must be covered by Chrome, so every line must be smooth and clean.

In the evening we were looking for some usual students food and especially pelmeny (little pasta balls with meat, like tortellini). Penny shop showed us what type of food European people prefer to eat... ... ow. This is not for us. As a students, who don't spent lots of time on cooking, but don't like fast food or junk food, in Russia we buy buckwheat. It's really cheap, healthy and fast to cook. In Germany no one know what is this =) Some products are very funny. At the end we took some fruits, meat and sweets. Then Ralf said that he knows where to drive us. It was a russian shop "Beryozka". There we found Pelmeny and nice Russian couple. The owner worked on Baikonur when was in Russian army. Cosmos is all around this world.

At the hostel we had a pizza party and go to sleep early.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Start the Winter Space Camp with a shuttle

Monday, 8 February 2010

(Leipzig, 8.02.2010) For these 17 students the winter vacation begins with a space shuttle launch. This morning at 10:14 CET a service mission to the Space Station with a crew of six is launched at Cape Canaveral. One of the mission goals is to deploy an observation window on station for a panoramic view of the universe. This was the last night launch of the shuttle fleet prior to cessation. There will be another three launches until 16 September 2010. The SEI is organizing a field trip to the launch event. Learn more about the program soon.

The children attend the holiday camp of the language school "Kinderleicht" in Leipzig while playfully picking up English. During their week-long program, they visit the Technology Center of the Chamber of Crafts with Yvonne. There they get a peek at the NASA Moonbuggy team in action, develop the color scheme for the German Moonbuggy and solder a change indicator.

Today, the new space suit was tried on, followed by a live shuttle launch.

Photo gallery with short videos:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

First Day

Evgeniy Svyatenko

Moonbuggy team russia 2010

Today was our first day in Leipzig. We ate different jams, cheeses and caviar which I brought from Russia. We then dressed to work and were driven to our workstation by Ralf. We at first thought we were at a factory, but after listening to Ralf talk with Dr. Schmidt we understood we were at a huge study center for different professions. Here they teach the trades of being a butcher, house construction, roofing, steel working, plumbing, electronics and social service. We toured the rooms of the center. In some of the rooms we saw students in class. It was really interesting to see the German education system in work.

We ate lunch at 12:30. We then moved to the moonbuggy workshop where it would be easier to work. We start work early in the morning and have until 14:30 to complete our work. We got a late start disassembling problem parts and thus took some of them to the hostel (hotel?) to make a digital CAD model.

After finishing the moonbuggy work, we returned to drink some coffee and then help SEI with moving some donated furniture. We moved some pepper cases (bookshelves?), large tables, a shelf and a round table. Then we visited a friend of Ralf’s who works as a lawyer with SEI. Here we were provided with a nice and large computer table and two computer chairs. These items would be good to have for the moonbuggy workrooms. We worked out and ate dinner and then went to the computer room to work on reports and CAD modeling. We finished at 1a.m.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Advertisement For NASA Contest

Advertisement For Cyclist

We are looking for a cyclist from the off-road area, who is suitable as pilot for the NASA Moonbuggy Race competition. A Moonbuggy is a 4-wheel recumbent tandem with special design features for man-rated vehicles on other celestial bodies. For legal reasons in the competition, the Moonbuggy is driven by pure muscle power. For 18 years, the competition has been held by NASA in Huntsville, Alabama, on the second weekend of April. Approximately 100 international teams participate with up to 150 vehicles.

You will be a member of the multinational europan team (10 awards), located in Leipzig/Germany.

More info at:

Poster/ leaflet for school notice boards and specialist advisors (german):

This contest is suitable as BELL coursework (after 22 OAVO §) in Germany.

The Board
International Space Education Institute
charitable free institute to support the study- and occupational orientation in engineer's being and aerospace industries (registered association)

Wurzner Str. 4; D-04315 Leipzig; Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 341-68139-86; Fax: -89
Amtsgericht Leipzig VR 4401,