[Space] space is hard, let's go shopping!

Mikolaj Habryn dichro at rcpt.to
Mon Dec 21 12:11:52 PST 2009


I have two 8' latex meteorological balloons on the way -
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330370803471

After ordering, it occurred to me that my simple idea for stopping
ascent below burst-height (a pressure-relief valve) wouldn't work on
these anyway since they're stretchy, so the pressure inside is always
going to be substantially higher than outside, and the difference will
probably vary with altitude. Which leaves open the question of what
else we'd like to consider doing with our first launch?

The standard equipment is a camera, gps, and radio transceiver, but we
can aim higher than that - I think the FAA plain doesn't care what we
do up to about 6 pounds (maybe 4?) but with two balloons, we can loft
significantly more (perhaps with extra paperwork?). A model rocket
should be doable either way (maybe we'd need three balloons to make a
stable launch platform?) - and putting the camera on the model rocket
pointing downwards to watch the launcher fall behind with earth
curvature in the background would make for fantastic youtube :)

Other ideas?

m.

PS: for those who were interested in learning
hardware/electronics/arduino, a neat initial project would be to build
a pressure sensor that would ultimately feed into the balloon
controls. You can get samples of the sensor itself for free from
freescale - http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/taxonomy.jsp?nodeId=01126990368716
- and they're very easy to interface to an arduino (or anything else,
really).


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