Executive VP Danny Fell gives us an inside look at the test launch of Project Pegasus...
Over the past few weeks, NDP staffers Ed Sunder, Tim Ritzema, Damon Crumley and Dave Peterson have been working with a science class at Chattanooga Christian School in Chattanooga, TN, to design and build a low atmosphere balloon to attempt near space photography and test the recording and tracking capabilities of several new, low cost digital devices. On Friday, November 11, a small team conducted a test launch to evaluate what they have built so far. The maiden test flight gave us some amazing images, as well as useful information for possible future improvements, and was deemed a success.
The device consists of a durable box containing three digital video cameras, two gps units and a cell phone tethered to a low atmosphere balloon which holds approximately 180 cu ft of helium and connected to a recovery parachute. At about 90,000 feet the balloon pops and the parachute brings the device safely back down to earth. In the links below you can see some of the preparation for the launch and some actual still photos recovered from the device.
Stay tuned to hear more about the project and the next test flight. To learn more, check out the following links:
Photos of the preparation and launch.
Images captured from Pegasus.
Watch the launch and flight video.
A satellite tracking map (it landed about 100 miles east of Chattanooga in the mountains of north GA and our team recovered the device late Friday night).