VideosHere are some clips showing what we've been up to.
Dark Sky Station Two liftoff, Docking at the Dark Sky Station. The Missions Rocket launched from a balloon
from the on-board camera.
Away 26, the remix
The great folks at SuperNova Digital Productions sent us this preview of a JPA
Away 27 on board video. We had a bad bounce on launch and had
Lift Off from the Business End
Did you know that rocket motors whistle? At least solid propellant ones do. When the motor pressurizes
the air being forced out the nozzle makes a low to high pitch whistle. The reason you never hear this is that
you don't normally put your head under the rocket when it's firing. Rather then our heads we put a video
camera under the rocket instead. The camera was blasted away by the pressure wave before the motor
got going. The camera was fine, but the video was cut short. It's still very cool....
The rocket is the JPA MicroSat Launcher Block 2, firing a 14,000 n/s motor and flying to 20,000 feet.
PongSat News Story
Dale Schornack ABC News
10 has been covering JPA and making us look good for
years. Here's a story he's reciently did about the PongSat program. Can you see your
PongSat in the piece?
This three minute and fifty second
video shows scenes from
eighty-six mission flown by JPA. Set to the sounds of the Dark Sky Station
house band, Space Vacuum.
Away 26 high altitude balloon mission flown on May 21, 2005.
This clip shows the launch then switches to the on board camera.
This flight carried airship components, research samples,
202 PongSats and Stars Wars action figures.
A day in the life of an airship factory, or at least two minutes and
forty seconds of one.
This is a 'walk around' of the 175 foot Ascender from January 2004. That day we
worked on inflation, float and a propeller spin up test.
Dark Sky Station
On May 19, 2001 a small scale prototype Dark Sky Station took to the
You can see here the scale of the operation even for a small platform. This DSS
is 27 feet across. During a launch we had to hold for two hours for high winds. When
we reattached the balloon an inner and an outer balloon got switched. The result was the
platform climbed at a small angle. Can you guess which balloon is in the wrong spot
from the above picture?
In addition to launching rockets from
balloons as part of a high altitude launch
system, JPA uses rockets as a research tool for Airship to Orbit. Here is a small
sample of launches we've conducted. Most of those in the video are ground launches
from suspended gondolas or from gimbaled launch rails.
What is it like to fall from the edge of space? Here is a camcorders
view of that drop. Video is from the Away 17 mission flown in 2002.
This fantastic animation was create by
Home Baked Entertainment.
It shows an orbital Ascender approaching the Dark Sky Station.
Away 25 launch and on board video.
This mission was flown on April 4th 2004.
Away 22 high altitude propeller test flight. The video is a
little grainy. The recording video
cameras were stolen before the recovery crew got to the vehicle. You can still see the
propeller spinning and driving the vehicle around. Away 22 lifted off on May 21, 2003
Inflation test. This balloon will be deployed from a rocket as part of Mach glider development.
see January 2005 log page for details.
MicroSat Launcher lifting off from the West Texas Spaceport.
Liftoff was on April 17, 2004, only a couple of weeks after the
Away 25 mission. It was a very busy April!
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page was last edited on October 22, 2007
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