Sunday, July 19, 2009

Great Plains Super Launch

Well, GPSL was a success. At least nine balloons were launched from the courtyard/parking lot of my school. All but one were recovered. I'm hoping ARBONET receives a phone call about their capsule before long.

NearSys 09E reached an altitude of around 80,000 feet. The exact altitude if not known becuase the GPS was acting up. The backup tracker only produced five posits on descent. It transmits now, so I checked the battery and found it was 8.0 volts (nominal 7.2 V lithium). So I suspect the capsule was accidentally shut off or it has a bad power switch. I'll get this debugged before the next mission. This is why NearSys flies two independent trackers on every mission.

Recovery occured in Garnett, where at least three other capsules recovered. This has got to be the biggest news for this town!

A homeowner was setting his sprinkler when he heard a rustle in his tree. He turned around to see the capsule and parachute descend along the side of his tree. He was 10 feet away when this happened. It looks like the downward camera can see him shortly before landing.

This is the highest image, taken around 80,000 feet. That cumulonimbus cloud was on the horizon as the near spacecraft lifted off. At this altitude we're so high that we can see the horizon beyond the cloud.

So I'm looking for a another opportunity to fly. I have a thermopile telescope to test.

1 comment:

  1. I just have to say that this is really cool. The image is amazing. I had no idea the balloons could reach that altitude. I can't wait to learn more.