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Away 32 and 33   Once more into the black. 

       Up top
          Away 32 at the edge of space.                                   

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The JP Aerospace team set up shop in the Nevada desert. Two platforms, Away 32 and Away 33, 
were carried aloft by balloon. These platforms were loaded.  Each one was performing multiple tests 
and accomplished multiple mission objectives.

Away 32 was the first in the air. It reached 94,000 feet with a fast climb rate of 1,300 feet per minute. The first
objective of Away 32 was to test our new precision helium fill system. The ability to put an exact amount of
gas into the balloon is critical to future missions. Another objective was to give some new hardware a shakedown.
 A new carbon adapter attached the vehicle to the balloon. This unit was developed for the Tandem airship.
Away 32 carried an upgraded spread spectrum telemetry/command system. This basic system was first flown
on Away 29.  It was upgraded for increased range for this mission.

Away 33 was launched forty-five minutes later. Away 33 carried its cargo to 92,000 feet. On board were 329 PongSat student
experiments. These experiments ranged from sophisticated sensors and computers to plant seeds and marshmallows.

High winds during the launch gave us a chance to put our balloon launch bags to the test. Both launches went off smoothly.
Away 32 and Away 33 carried “Bean Me Up” coffee by Vista Clara Coffee. The high-flying coffee will be auctioned off on eBay
to support the PongSat program.

Away 32 landed 16 miles of the launch site. Away 33 landed 10 miles downrange Both were recovered the same day.  Having
two vehicles in the air at once gave us a chance to shakedown the recently overhauled mission control van. The complexity of
the flights really showed what a skilled, all-volunteer team can accomplish.

   Morning in the desert       Morning in the desert      Preping the systems  
       Morning in the desert                                  Setting up the antenna farm                        Away 32 prep.

               Away 32              Away 32 walkout        Away 33

   PongSats!       Lower deck PongSats     PongSats!       
 PongSats with various sky sensors.                    More computer controlled PongSats.           You can see the PongSats in the window.
Balloon bag        Balloon Prep  
Balloon Fill

  Paul focused
This is my favorite image of the mission. This is Paul showing the focus and intensity the team puts out that makes it all happen.

Launch   Away 32 in air       Away 33 in air      Away 33 closeup

 Vista Clara Coffee     Teachers in Space   Ads in Space         
Thirteen customer advertisements funded this flight to the edge. Six onboard cameras took over 2000 pictures of their logos.

Recovery     Landing!      Heading home
Recovery!  The decks collapse on landing to absorbe the shock.        Heading home.

                                      The Team
                                                         The Team

There were six camcorders filming the launch and five on board views. Here's a few quick clips.

 Away 33 launch      Away 33 on board camera


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This page was last edited on June 9, 2007
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