Share Button

Super Pressure Balloon Flight, October 19, 2014

CNSP-19   K6RPT-12


CNSP-19, the Wounded Bird


California Near Space Project (CNSP) launched a Super Pressure Balloon from Silicon Valley California on Sunday, October 19, 2014, flight # CNSP-19; call sign K6RPT-12. This is another one of our  SPEED Project missions to push the evolution of efficiency and design. The flight ascended slowly and reached an altitude of 650 feet when it abruptly descended into a park. We believe the hawks circling above the park attacked the balloon. We asked some people by the park if anyone had seen the balloon and to our surprise we were told who recovered the balloon out of a tree in the park. The person that recovered the balloon, Joe, called us and said that he relaunched the balloon. I was on the phone with him when suddenly we received an update from the balloon was at 22,000 feet. The telemetry confirmed the solar panels were severely damaged. The flight achieved a successful float at 37,000 feet. Because the tracker is solar only, it shut down around 5pm (PST) over Nevada on Sunday October 19, 2014. The next morning, on Monday October 20, 2014, the tracker started reporting again over Wyoming. On the evening of October 22, 2014, the last report was received from CNSP-19 in Montgomery, Alabama. That night, the flight probably continued through Georgia and then out over the Atlantic. Joe who relaunched the balloon went back to the tree were he found it looking for the broken solar panels from the tracker; he found over half of our solar panels on the ground. It’s amazing the tracker has enough power from what’s left of its solar panels to power up. Needless to say this Wounded Bird won’t give up.