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Away 43, 44, 45 and Away 46   Working the Program

Away 43, 44, 45, 46 were real working missions. We had four primary tasks. Tracking telemetry systems in a side by side comparison, Balloon separation system testing, rocket launch systems tests and to carry PongSats. We had a pile of secondary objective like getting to 120,000 feet and testing new materials.

The tracking system test was successful. We been working on this for a while. I’m relieved to get this one behind us. Our balloon release system is still giving us problems. It’s back to the cold box and vacuum chamber.

The Rocket launch systems (fire control, rocket motor heaters and launch detect) worked great. Just as a placeholder we used small 17 inch rocket as part of the test. The launch systems work the same as for a 17 inch rocket as they do for a 12 foot one. Including the small rocket gave us a change to work on procedures for live rockets as well.  Away 45 and Away 46 each carried two rockets. On Away 44 we fired the rockets at low altitude, (11,000 feet).  On Away 45 we ran the test at 80,000 feet. The second launch control system also worked prefect, however the rocket motors did not ignite, (little motor are very tricky to light at high altitude).

The team flew 153 PongSats student experiments!!

Our peak altitude was just over 108,000 feet. That was on Away 44. We a bit disappointed we didn’t get higher. That challenge get shifted to the next launch.

The new honeycomb paper structure performed superior to our tradition foam and carbon parts. We’re pretty happy about that. It’s cheaper and quicker to build from.

 High Rack Rocket Launch Morning Setup  Away 44 in the Morning  Mission Control   
 Planning sketch of Away 45 and 46                           Launch site at Dawn       
                           Away 45                                        Mission Control
   Away 45 Setup PongSats! Balloon fill Balloon Whisper
     Vehicle Prep                                                      PongSats!                               Feeding the beast              Paul, balloon whisper
   Inside the balloon bag PongSats in Saddle Bag Away 43 Launch  Away 43 in the air                  
     Inside the balloon bag                                    PongSats in their saddle bag                  Away 43 Launch              Away 43 in flight
 Away 46 in air  View from Away 46 View from Away 46 View from Away 46
  Away 46 in flight                      Views from Away 46 
PongSat Participants     Away 46 landing site Away 46 parachute Away 43 landing site
PongSat Participants                                   Away 46 landing site                                                Away 46 parachute blowing in the wind             Away 43 landing site
Away 43 landing site   Long Walk
Kevin at the Away 43 landing site          The white objects in the center of the frame are a range. Farther out in the valley below is the truck.

Away 45 launch Away 45 in air
View from Away 45 View from Away 45          
Away 45 launch                                      Away 45 in flight                  Views from Away 45

Away 44 final prep Away 44 Launch  Away 44 from below
Away 44 final prep                                     Away 44 launch                                             Away 44 from below

Yellow rocket launch Yellow rocket camera 1 Yellow rocket camera 2  Red Rocket
Rocket launches from Away 44  

Away 44 landing site Away 45 landing site   Trail Companion   
 Away 44 landing site                              Away 45 landing site                      My trail companion on this expedition


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This page was last edited on June 15, 2010
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