Archive for September, 2008

Telemetry Station and Rebuilding

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

We assembled a mock up balloon launch vehicle. It’s could actually fly, it just made from rather beat up parts from previous missions. We then mounted the controller and a backup tracking system on it in the exact positions they were on Away 35. we can now start chasing the GPS antenna issue we saw on Away 35.

We also built up a shop ground station. A lot of old gear was pressed once more into service. The tricky part was building the cables to connect it to the newer stuff. The manuals were of dubious help. When the old manuals were written the new stuff (and their protocols) didn’t exist. The writers of the new manuals never thought anyone would be hooking their pretty new boxes to the klugie ancient things we have laying around the shop.

We made a great airship motor controllers tester unit that flew on Away 35. It had a little motor and prop, and was packed full of sensors. It has the same plugs and connector as the big airship motor systems. In flight the controller doesn’t know the difference between it and a 2hp motor driving a 2 meter blade. It worked great on the Away 35 mission, however it was squished flat on landing. It took a team member a full day, but it’s now all healed.

Roll at 107,000 feet

Friday, September 26th, 2008


Away 35 Ads

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Here’s some more of the ad pic from the Away 35 mission. We took 1230 ad images in all on this flight.

Xelaration Parallax Vikeland and Monkeypants!!!!!

Heisler SCSO Floating to Space

Parallax up high

Equipment Work

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

After every mission the gear needs a little TLC.

Mark and Paul with the 900 mhz antenna

JPA in the United Kingdom and Korea

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Well, at least in the media.

Articles about the space ads have appeared in the UK and South Korea.

From the Telegraph.

From South Korea.

New Musical Sponsor!

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

At JPA we have a tradition of blending music with our reach to space. I’m am very proud to announce the newest creators of notes to join us as a music sponsor:

Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra: The Official Music of the Mesosphere!

The Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra SCSO in Space!

The Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra, SCSO, is a California educational
non-profit organization established in 1996. SCSO is an auditioned, volunteer chorus
with a professional orchestra committed to the performance, education, and
appreciation of a wide range of choral orchestral music for the Greater Sacramento

You will find their music on several of our recent videos as well on our videos on
the CD with the book, “Floating To Space, The Airship to Orbit Program”.

This is one of the most fun parts of my job. Support these folks, that support space!!!
The Mesosphere now has a sound track.

Episode Pics

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

Here are some pics from our work on the Discovery Channel Episode: Orbital Power Plant.

JPA Solar lens experiment
This is the experiment at 107,000 feet. There are two advanced triple layer solar cells. One cell had a thin film lens in front of it focusing the light. The other did not. Both cell were on a rotating platform that scanned the sun. We measured current and voltage on both cell five times a second through the mission. We gathered lots of very interesting data. Anyone for solar power plant Dark Sky Stations?
Away 37 down looking camera Away 37 down looking camera
These are from the down looking camera on Away 37.

Away 37 Roll

Both Away 36 and Away 37 did a roll at balloon burst. They both then got stable and made nice smooth descents.