November 16th, 2016
Mission Success! Away 121 soared to 95,432 feet and was recovered 41 miles down range.
Away 121 was a high altitude balloon flight. It carried 480 PongSat student experiments, six MiniCube student experiments, five HD camera, a flight data logger and both ground and satellite uplink telemetry.
Away 121 was our 186th flight. The flight took place Sunday November 13 from JPA’s new facility in Northern Nevada.
November 11th, 2016
We have a weather window so we are go for launch of Away 121 on Sunday!
Away 121 will carry 480 PongSat student experiments, six MiniCube student experiments, five cameras a datal ogger and pur normal flight equipment set. Away 121 will be our 186th flight.
October 31st, 2016
Halloween PongSats await the flight of Away 121.
October 13th, 2016
Rain Delay for Away 121. Our PongSat/MiniCube mission is scrubbed again. The forecast is showing rain and twenty-five mph surface winds. The landing site was not looking good either, 285 km away into a pretty inaccessible mountain range. We are looking at next week for the reschedule.
September 27th, 2016
Floating to Space: The Airship to Orbit Program is now on Amazon directly from the author. The book now includes bonus content. Two mission DVD’s and data sheets.
The seller is ‘Sand Brick Technologies’ the author’s company.
September 14th, 2016
The JPA Advanced Research Facility, Area 42. It’s pretty sparse now, but watch it grow.
September 12th, 2016
Last Sunday the Ascender 36 airship took off from our new launch facility in Northern Nevada.
The first flight of Ascender 36 was a real shake down. It took two hours more than planned to get her into the air. Instead of the forecasted calm morning, we had windy condition with the wind howling from the opposite direction. However when we got her into the air she put her nose up and screamed in to the sky. Our minimum goal was to fly to 7,000 feet. If all went well we would push bit by bit to 10,000 feet. Our goal climb rate was 400 feet per minute. In the end we climbed an average 582 feet per minute and flew all the way to 13,512 feet. We landed her 11 miles down range.
August 31st, 2016
We did the final inflation and system test before flight on Ascender 36. We had all plumbing installed and tested the helium transfer system. This lets us move the helium around the airship in flight. First flight is getting close.
August 31st, 2016
Did you know that PongSat is the largest student flight program in the world. 18,000 payloads flown.
August 5th, 2016
Last weekend we did the third inflation test of the Ascender 36 airship. This was an assembly test. We installed the internal carbon keels, the inner helium cell and all the valves and vents. One step closer to flight.
We tucked the Ascender between the building and our second wind ramp.
Installing the helium lift cells.
Port keel ready to be installed.