Journey to the edge of spaceAugust 26th, 2012 at 10:49 pm by T.J. Del Santo under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog
Every once in awhile, I come across stories of school-age kids working on amazing projects. A group of Tiverton college students are working on a project to send a fully autonomous solar-powered boat across the Atlantic. You can get more info on that at their website transat.com. It’s truly remarkable.
Another awesome project is in the works in New Hampshire…called HeartSat. A high school student who has a deep interest in aerospace engineering wants to launch a ballon through the atmosphere into space with instruments on board the flight vehicle to measure a number of things in the atmosphere. Andrew Mahn is entering his senior year at a small private school in New Hampshire. He has already been a part of other teams who have launched rockets into outerspace…those projects were funded. For Andrew’s HeartSat, he has already raised the $1900 he needed and is well on his way to send his payload into space. The flight vehicle, as depicted below, can ascend and descend through the atmosphere very well without the use of a parachute!
HeartSat stands for High Elevation Atmospheric Research Tool SATellite. The primary mission, in Andrew’s words, is ”to analyze radiation and prevalent gasses of the troposphere and stratosphere. It will utilize a completely custom electronics system designed and built from the ground up. If the project is successfully funded….top notch sensors… will provide truly meaningful scientific data”
- Geiger–Müller counter
- Carbon dioxide gas sensor
- Methane gas sensor
- Barometric pressure sensors
- An open-source spectrometer
- Two HD cameras to record the flight
Wow. I think I was still collecting baseball cards at his age. Andrew is offering the data he collects to anyone who wants it. As you can see from the instruments listed above, he will be recording the trip on camera, which should be fascinating to watch!
Oh, and he is still looking for donations…you can make a donation on his web page.