Upcoming Near-Space Balloon Launch in Mississippi!
Those of you who know me personally or who’ve been reading YourWeatherBlog for a while now know I have strong ties to Mississippi (I’m a proud Mississippi State Alum). I also have several friends who are school teachers in Mississippi. Recently, I came across this article about students from Olde Towne Middle School in Ridgeland, Mississippi who are planning a near-space balloon launch. Students in the OTMS Radio and Technology Club, along with the school’s Science Team, are planning to launch the balloon on Saturday, March 26th at 9:30AM (CDT), weather permitting of course. The name for the flight is “Titans in Space” and it’s expected to reach an altitude of 94,825 feet—nearly 18 miles!
The balloon has instruments inside that will track its exact location and it’s also equipped with a camera that will take snapshots every 15 seconds. The students’ job will be to analyze the data that’s transmitted back from the balloon. The current mission payload and equipment includes:
- APRS with temperature, pressure and velocity in the message box – Argent Data Systems
- 20 meter CW beacon on 14.060 – Small Wonder Labs Rockmite 20
- EZKeyer – 4 States QRP memory keyer
- 2 meter voice recordable beacon 146.565 FM – Doppler DF Instruments
- GOPRO HD camera
- Possibly a SPOT Satellite tracker
- Various science experiments for the science department
The launch is in partnership with the Mississippi State University School of Engineering-Aeronautical Engineering, which has provided support and supplies for the students’ efforts. It has also received national attention from The Sally Ride Foundation, which is named after the first American woman to fly in space.
According to Billy Richardson, sponsor of the Radio and Technology club, this will be the first elementary, middle, or high school in Mississippi to launch a near-space balloon.
Saturday, March 26, 2011 – dependent on the weather
Preflight: 7-9AM CST (Webcast LIVE – www.ustream.com and search for kc5nxd)
Launch: 9:00-9:30AM CST (Webcast LIVE – www.ustream.com and search for kc5nxd)
Launch address: 142 Calhoun Parkway, Madison, MS 39110
The preflight and launch will be stream-cast live at www.ustream.com and be sure to search for username kc5nxd. Everyone is invited to login and enjoy! However, they are still looking for a volunteer to be a passenger in the balloon. Ha-ha, just kidding!