After much agonizing and running constant landing predictions for the last 6 weeks- I have decided to delay the launch of the High Altitude Balloon. Currently the conditions in Goderich Ontario Canada are not suitable for a safe controlled launch, flight and recovery.
This, unfortunately, means we will not be able to partake in the Global Space Balloon Challenge hosted by M.I.T university. Although this was never the primary focus for the mission, it would have been fun to participate.
Much of the recovery area here in Ontario is still covered in spring melt water (and today 2 inches of fresh snow). This makes recovery difficult. As well, the high altitude winds have allowed for only 4 suitable launch days in the last 6 weeks of simulations.
We will simply need to wait a bit longer so we can achieve our goal of a near-space mission with our balloon and payload module. I will update everyone as soon as we have a projected launch window.
Thanks to everyone who has followed along with this project. It has truly been a fun journey and we haven’t even launched yet 🙂
Well the DIY space program is indeed coming along. There are so many things to build/engineer that I fear I may indeed run out of time before the scheduled launch day. This isn’t really a problem as we can just delay until all systems are go- but it could be a disappointment.
Recently I tested some hand warmers for the payload heating with great success. I don’t think I should have any trouble protecting the electronics from the -60 Celsius outside out capsule.
GPS tracking is proving to be a real pain. I purchased the Spot-Trace unit as well as I have an Android cell phone for backup text messaging. Neither is currently working as desired and much more testing will be required before I can draw any final conclusions.
Dear Spot GPS- I wish you were open-source so I could effectively troubleshoot you 🙂
On a plus note- the Arduino data logger is working flawlessly and all the other systems are slowly coming together. this will truly be a fun project.
Live tracking has been enabled and tested- the tab on this site will go live shortly before the launch. Anyone will be able to track the Aurora-1 from anywhere in the world. We will try to send out Twitter updates as well with the cell phone GPS coordinates. between the two- we should be able to give live updates for the balloon throughout most of its mission to near-space from Goderich Ontario.