CNSP and Stanford Space Initiative, May 16, 2015
The California Near Space Project and Stanford Space Initiative collaborated in the launch of Stanford’s three high altitude balloon flights on May 16, 2015. CNSP provided launch support, using our Alicat Mass Flow Meter to precision fill the balloons for launch. Stanford’s latex balloon altitude-control technology is very impressive, and we look forward to following the evolution of this technology. Visit the Stanford Space Initiative website at ssi.stanford.edu Please see the summary of Stanford’s flights below.
This past weekend, SSI’s High Altitude Balloon team launched three impressively successful balloons, bringing us to a total of 21 launches for the team. The three balloons – SSI-19, SSI-20, and SSI-21 – managed to break all of our previous records for HAB flight.
SSI-19, a precision filled latex balloon, broke SSI’s record for most time aloft, and SSI-20 subsequently broke that record as well – over 16 and a half hours aloft! Furthermore, SSI-19 broke our record for the highest altitude – 119,932 feet!
SSI-20, SSI’s first Zero Pressure Balloon (generously donated to us by the California Near Space Project), broke our record for longest distance traveled, flying from Modesto, CA to the northeastern corner of Nevada, almost into Idaho.
SSI-21, the brainchild of the HAB team, demonstrated the first-ever successful latex balloon altitude-control technology, featuring SSI flight computers, a gas venting valve, and a ballast dropping system. Our system successfully maintained altitude to within 2.5% of our desired set-point at 12 kilometers above the ground.
All of these launches were impressively successful. All of our systems worked rather flawlessly and with great precision.
Kyana and I would like to thank everyone who participated and put forth effort into bringing the HAB group to where it is now. We are very proud of the achievements this group has accomplished over the past year and a half. We’ve gone from launching go pros in styrofoam boxes, to flying complex flight computers and altitude control technology with satellite communication. We’d like to thank the California Near Space Project, for providing guidance and technical assistance during this launch, in addition to donating their zero pressure balloon and sharing their knowledge about precision filled latex balloons with us. This launch most certainly could not have happened without their help and enthusiasm, and we look forward to working with them in the future. Furthermore, we commend the FAA for allowing us to fly High Altitude Balloons, even at 35,000 feet, where many airliners fly! During the entire flight ( > 16 hours), the FAA worked with us to separate air traffic from the path of our balloons and gave us airspace priority – a fantastic demonstration of the freedom of the American airspace system. And finally, we applaud our team, for spending many grueling nights, in the depths of problem sets and midterms, working on our balloons and building our technology to where it is now. The effort and dedication that each person has put into this group has not gone unnoticed.
Your HAB leaders,
Kyana and Aria