by Robert Brand
As many will know, I am the Director of Spacecraft Communications, Navigation and Data for Team Stellar and Jason is Stellar’s Australian Student Representative.
Jason and I also hold a world record for launching and recovering High Altitude Balloons (HABs). We have launched and recovered 16 so far and you can’t get better than 100% success. Mind you, much of that is attributed to us researching and finding a fantastic launch and recovery area with HAM radio APRS coverage (one of our tracking systems), flat and clear land with little water and good mobile telephone coverage and good access roads to farming and grazing land.
Croatia is a very different place. Our Team Stellar Croatian associates have told us that part of our recovery team will be Aplinists, capable of hiking in snow and ice to recover any balloon that lands high up on a mountain!
So why is Stellar launching these flights?
Balon Stellar Stratosfera 30Km
Basically we will be carrying experiments from schools all over Croatia. They will go into the stratosphere and after recovery they will be returned to the schools for analysis and of course we expect them to publish the results.
This is just one of several activities being undertaken by Team Stellar in the name of STEM Education – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Jason is 11 years old and will just turn 12 when we assist with this flight and will have just completed his first term in high school (year 7). He will be attending Sydney Secondary College – Balmain Campus just as his two older sisters did.
These will be larger balloons that will be needed to lift heavy payloads and to get them into the stratosphere before they explode and return to earth. We also expect to have cut-down ability to command the payload to release from the balloon and return to earth.
We will let you know more as we prepare for the flights in 6 months’ time. You can read more here later and more at:
That is Jason and I celebrating with a soft drink after the successful recovery of UpLift-1, our first balloon mission in December 2011. Jason does the tracking, radio systems and navigation – I just do the driving.