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Artist render of Eiger. Proprietary Black Magic propulsion system in see-through parts not typical of actual design.
Artist render of Pythom Olympus lander/ascender, taking off from Mars.
Airborne! Eiger stage one virgin micro-jump, only two years after angel funding.
Tie-down of the stage. Gravel piles for natural blast shielding. Originally conceived for a DARPA challenge to design a rocket that can "launch anytime, from anywhere," Eiger uses storable propellants, unprepared launch settings, and mobile test stands.
Go fast, go light, go cheap. That’s how our planet was discovered and that’s how space was done in the early days.
Moving Eiger stage one from the assembly building to the test lab (Bishop, CA).
Laser welded in-house, Eiger propellant tanks are manufactured from very thin aluminum.
CAD and simulations of Asterex engine. Regeneratively cooled and 3D printed in Inconel, hundreds of channels run between double walls according to precise mathematical calculations to ensure the engine doesn't melt during firing. The channels guide propellant flow and the injector components mix the fuel and oxidizer in a very fine mist for Pythom's signature natural ignition to take place efficiently.
Asterex engine hot firing at 10 MPa chamber pressure (twice the record in class, <500 kg to LEO). Controlled thrust, start-stop-start exercise.
Pythom's first hot firing of regeneratively cooled Asterex engine, developed in-house and one of the few originated in the US in the class. Fire tested only nine months after funding, in a second firing shortly after the engine reached record 10Mpa chamber pressure, at 90% thrust efficiency.
Parts of team Pythom summer 2022. Stripped Eiger stage One on display outside assembly building.
Team picture during Bishop Chamber of Commerce inauguration of Pythom rocket shop. August 2021.
Team celebrating success of first Asterex engine hot firing. January 2021.
"Lunch atop a laser welding cage" (adapted from "Lunch atop a skyscraper"). Fall 2021.
Tina Sjogren (CEO) and Tom Sjogren (CTO) mounting Asterex engine injector for early water flow tests. September 2020.
Tina Sjogren (CEO) and Tom Sjogren (CTO) leasing Pythom's first space in Bishop, CA after successful angel funding. July 2020.
Tina Sjogren (CEO) and Stef Starnater (site operations) spray painting Asterex engine replicas for truss modelling. 2021.
Tina Sjogren (CEO) machining stainless flanges in Pythom machine park. December 2020.
Tyler del Guidice (manufacturing) setting up Pythom's mobile test stand for engine hot firings. Fall 2020.
Tom Sjogren (CTO) and Tyler del Guidice (manufacturing) moving welding machines between shops. January 2021.
Staying in astronaut shape. Summer lunch break in Sierra Nevada Wonder Lakes, a short drive from the rocket shop.
Tina Sjogren (CEO) and Tyler del Guidice (manufacturing) bending support rings for the propellant tanks. February 2021.
"Old school" checking of Eiger first stage center of mass. March 2022.
Structure testing lightweight legs with Eiger stage one in test lab . February 2022.
Moving Eiger stage one (left). Mobile test trailer and assembly building right in image. March 2022.
Eiger stage one in the main facility. Manufacturing in progress.
Regeneratively cooled Asterex engine, developed by Pythom, before and after hot firing. January 2021.
Asterex engine mounted on hot firing plate outside Pythom mobile test trailer. December 2020.
Tom Sjogren filling up the fuel tank with Furfuryl alcohol in preparation for an engine hot fire test. Spring 2021.
Tina Sjogren giving thumbs up to Asterex engine mounted in mobile test stand.
Founders Tom and Tina filling up the oxidizer tank with white fuming nitric acid in preparation for an engine test. Pythom propellants don't need cryogenic storage which makes the rocket very versatile. The propellants "burn clean" (leave no trace after ignition). The fuel is made from plants and is carbon-neutral.
Tina Sjogren handling metal bars in the mobile hot firing trailer. 2021.
Tom Sjogren (CEO) at business dinner in Los Angeles discussing SPACs. 2021.
Tom and Tina simulating life support for Mars environment in the American West desert. 2017.
Tom and Tina at the "Big Ears" Owens Valley Radio Observatory (near Pythom Space in Bishop, Ca). The dishes are picking up naturally occurring signals from outer space. 2018.
Tina Sjogren climbing in the icefall on Mount Everest. The couple arrived Mount Everest for their first attempt in 1996, the fateful year described by Jon Krakauer in his book "Into Thin Air".
Starting out as rock climbers and later cutting their teeth in the Alps and and on Denali (Alaska), Tom and Tina climbed Everest in self-guided, small, no-frills expeditions.
Broadcasting one of the last non-commercial, independent expeditions from Mount Everest. The mountaineers fixed the ropes above the icefall to the summit of Everest with a team of only five Sherpas. Sirdar Babu Shirri Sherpa, broke a medical record by setting up a tent on the summit of Everest and spending an entire night there without supplementary oxygen.
The independent expedition, led by Tom and Tina, built the first WiFi network to Everest summit for live broadcast via satellite to the world in 1999, the same year the 802.11b WiFi standard was released.
Tina holding an IP camera (first released in 1996) on the summit of Mount Everest. May 26, 1999.
Tina hauling a sled on the Arctic Ocean. The couple was awarded four Guinness World Records for their unsupported, full-length expeditions to both poles.
Tom skiing to the South Pole. The expedition started at the edge of Antarctica and took 56 days. The couple skied alone and received no airdrops of supplies. Shortly after reaching the South Pole, Tom and Tina went to Canada for a back-to-back unsupported expedition to the North Pole.
Tina paddling atop her sled across an open lead towards the North Pole. The Arctic Ocean is covered by pans of ice that stack on top of each other or break up suddenly with the weather and lunar tides. The couple started in Canada during the polar night and frequently swam across open water to make the timeline. They reached the North Pole in May, 2002 after 67 days of skiing.
To reward their main sponsor, Ericsson Mobile Systems, Tom and Tina published the first live pictures and dispatches from a skiing North and South Pole expedition. They sourced and customized wearable computers, head-mounted displays, IPAQ PDAs, Orbcomm text satellites, and wrote dedicated software to adapt to the mobile situation, harsh environments and technological limits of the time.
Tina became the first woman to complete the Three Poles Challenge - Mount Everest, the South Pole and the North Pole. The expeditions were accomplished in a little over three years and included an Atlantic crossing in a vintage O'Day sailing boat.
Tina testing a head-mounted display (early "Google Glass") at the Everest Pyramid, in Nepal, in spring 2000. The solar pyramid, near Everest base camp, is an international laboratory/observatory covered with solar panels.
Tom at Antarctica transmitting to Tina (inside tent) over Bluetooth in 2001. The BT technology was invented by the expedition main sponsor Swedish telecomm Ericsson (Jaap Haartsen), in 1998.
Fast forward: Tom in front of the first stage of his rocket Eiger getting ready for the first airborne test. Spring 2022.
Hoisting the Eiger first stage in preparation for the tethered micro-jump. Spring 2022.