Headlines > News > JP Aerospace - Ads, Ping Pong Balls, Coffee and Cutting Edge Development

JP Aerospace - Ads, Ping Pong Balls, Coffee and Cutting Edge Development

Published by Rob on Wed Jun 6, 2007 4:41 pm
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On Saturday, June 2, the JP Aerospace team set up shop in the Nevada desert. Two platforms,
Away 32 and Away 33, were carried aloft by balloon. These platforms were loaded. Each one was
performing multiple tests and accomplished multiple mission objectives.

Away 32 was the first in the air. It reached 94,000 feet with a fast climb rate of 1,300 feet per minute.
The first objective of Away 32 was to test our new precision helium fill system. The ability to put an
exact amount of gas into the balloon is critical to future missions. Another objective was to give some
new hardware a shakedown. A new carbon adapter attached the vehicle to the balloon. This unit was
developed for the Tandem airship. Away 32 carried an upgraded spread spectrum telemetry/command
system. This basic system was first flown on Away 29. It was upgraded for increased range for this

Thirteen customer advertisements funded this flight to the edge. Six onboard cameras took over 2000
pictures of their logos. Interest in these dramatic images has really increased since JPA first began
offering them a year ago.

Away 33 was launched forty-five minutes later. Away 33 carried its cargo to 92,000 feet.

On board were 329 PongSat student experiments. These experiments ranged from sophisticated
sensors and computers to plant seeds and marshmallows. They are sent by students all over the world
and are flown free of charge.

High winds during the launch gave us a chance to put our balloon launch bags to the test. Both launches
went off smoothly.

Both vehicles carried “Bean Me Up” coffee by Vista Clara Coffee. The high-flying coffee will be auctioned
off on eBay to support the PongSat program.

Both vehicles landed within 15 miles of the launch site and were recovered the same day. Between the two
vehicles, there were five independent GPS tracking systems, seven computers, eleven cameras, three
command systems, and two beacons. Having two vehicles in the air at once gave us a chance to shakedown
the recently overhauled mission control van. The complexity of the flights really showed what a skilled,
all-volunteer team can accomplish.

Pictures and video from the flight are available at the JPA website:

JP Aerospace’s next major flight will be of the Tandem high altitude airship. With the Tandem, JP Aerospace
will attempt to break the altitude record for airships this fall. The Tandem has a maximum altitude capability
of 110,000 feet.

JP Aerospace is an independent space program staffed by volunteers dedicated to bringing
space travel to everyone.

Please feel free to discuss this topic further in the forums…

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