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1000 PongSats

Posted by: jpowell - Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:57 pm
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1000 PongSats 
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Space Walker
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Post 1000 PongSats   Posted on: Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:57 pm
We are changing the face of space education. We're putting real flights in the hands of students. We want to promote space education directly one student at a time or in this case a thousand students at a time.

On April 9th we will be flying a thousand PongSats (student experiments) to 100,000 feet. Each experiment is unique. They range from plant seeds to sensors and dataloggers. We will be carrying them up on three of our High Rack balloon vehicles.

After the flight the students will get their PongSat back along with flight data, video and pictures. I truly believe that the first person to walk on Mars is one of the over 10,000 kids that have flown with us so far.

PongSats are completely free. However this mission is pushing a bit deep financially. If you could stop by our website and buy a tee shirt or make a donation it would really help.

Thank you! (begging over) :)

JP

http://www.jpaerospace.com


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Post Re: 1000 PongSats   Posted on: Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:50 pm
It might be worth you posting a comment about your pongsats on this thread on slash dot :-

http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/03/20 ... eedfetcher

It would be relevant to the thread as i assume you share the vids and data online from the pongsats and you never know you it might might get a few extra tshirts sold if you put in a handy link.

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Post Re: 1000 PongSats   Posted on: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:48 am
Why not charge a minimal sum for the Pongsats? Even $2 (and even students can afford that) pulls in $2k, and that's a lot of T shirt sales.


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Space Walker
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Post Re: 1000 PongSats   Posted on: Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:08 pm
Sadly if we charged even a quarter to fly PongSats the numbers would go from thousands to only dozens. If you charge it becomes an entirely different process for teachers. It would need to get signed off and approved. Someone would have to write a check or collect the money. We have found that teachers are so impacted for time that if anything that adds complication would kill it. We get a lot of teacher who must secretly do PongSat. With testing regiments so tight schools get fined if they devote class time that is not in line with the testing requirements for that semester. For many elementary school students science class only exist once every couple of years and then usually only a few days that match the needs of the testing requirements. If they actually spent money, even a token amount, the flood of complains and criticisms would begin.

On top of that schools are really broke. A lot of the school that fly can't even afford the ping pong balls. We try and send them free ones when we can. It's hard to ask the teachers to pay it out of pocket when they're are already paying for paper, pencils and other supplies for their classes out of pocket. These are not schools in developing counties, these are schools in the USA. You get outside of big cities and you find that schools just don't have even that extra quarter.

I don't have any answers or insight or ability on fixing this. I don't remotely want to get into the politics of it all. What I do know is that in spite of this we need get these students flying, inspired and learning. What we need to do is find a way to fly 2000 PongSats next time.

The bottom line though is that we are completely committed to keeping PongSat completely free. Even when we're eventually flying them to the moon and Mars. The funding will always be somebody's problem. I have decided it will me mine.

JP
http://www.jpaerospace.com


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Space Walker
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Post Re: 1000 PongSats   Posted on: Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:41 pm
The PongSats flew! We got some great picture and video. We flew three vehicles. They ran to 85,549, 101,722 and 102,949 feet.

We've never flown three in one day before. One vehicle past the other at 100,000 feet and took pictures of it as it went by. You only see the balloon but it's still fun.

Check out the pics on the JPA blog.

We going back out in eight days for another pair of flights.

JP

[url]http:/www.jpaerospace.com[/url]


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Post Re: 1000 PongSats   Posted on: Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:15 pm
Hmmm... talking about financing, perhaps it could be worthwhile to look for someone willing to sponsor the PongSats? That way, it remains free for the schools, and the company or group which sponsors them get's to brag that they're helping kids launch things to the edge of space...


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Space Walker
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Post Re: 1000 PongSats   Posted on: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:18 pm
That's actually how it works now.


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