"America's OTHER Space Program"

PongSat Mission Away 23

Away 23 lifted off from the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada, Saturday afternoon, October 25, 2003. The flight was excellent in all respects. This was a training mission for mission control operators.   It was to prepare for a high altitude airship flight later this year.  

Away 23 refused to go up on the first launch attempt, it just floated five feet above the ground. The balloon was pulled down and we found a two inch diameter hole. We patched the hole and added more helium to make up for what leaked out. On the second launch the vehicle zoomed up at 750 feet per minute. At 70,000 feet the climb rate increased to just over 2000 feet per minute. On the in flight video both Lake Tahoe and the Pacific ocean can be seen.

Mission control began to get worried during the descent. Away 23 was heading right along the shoreline of a lake. The landing coordinate was right in the ink line between the shore and the water. The recovery team reached the vehicle two hours after landing. It was 80 feet from the water.

The flight carried PongSats from Harwell Elementary, Greenwood High School, and New Deal ISD all from the    great state of Texas.






Mission Name

Away 23

Date of Mission

October 25th, 2003


Black Rock Desert, NV, USA

Total Flight Duration                   

2 hours 15 minutes

Distance from Launch to Touchdown               

60 nautical miles

Altitude at Launch Site                   

1422.0 meters  (4665 feet)

Maximum Altitude (GPS reported)

100,935 feet

Minimum Temperature

-67.7 C (-89.86 F)



JPA Away 23 Final Prep.jpg (46282 bytes)

JPA Away23PongSat box.jpg (16321 bytes)



  JPA Away23 Launch1.jpg (9562 bytes)

                   JPA Away23 Ready.jpg (6365 bytes)


JPA Away23 Mountains at an angle.jpg (19072 bytes)


JPA Away23 Sun at angle jpg.jpg (35179 bytes)



Back to the PongSat home page





This page was last edited on June 14 2007
Email comments to jpowell@jpaerospace.com
Copyright© 1998 - 2007 JP Aerospace. All Rights Reserved.