Working with a professor at my college and Carolina Edge of Space in May of 2010 I, along with a small group of friends, sent a weather balloon 74,642 feet into the sky. This post is mainly about the payload I designed, built and tested for the project.
This project was inspired by many seen recently online where students have been sending cheap payloads into the stratosphere. It started around December 2009 when we all met for the first time to discuss the project. It turns out that one of the professors in the Earth Sciences department focuses on remote sensing (gathering data about earth from satellites, etc.) who had done some weather balloon projects in the past. We all got together to discuss a possible launch.
The Rocketry of Central Carolina (ROCC) hosts rocket launches using their rocket pad for rockets from 1/4 A motor size all the way up to gigantic K size motors. Adam and I have gone several times just to watch the launches, and a few times Adam has launched his own rockets. I much prefer this to the times he used the car battery to launch a few homemade rockets at our home. Watching rocket launches is free and a small donation is recommended if you use the ROCC launchpad. See some of our ROCC adventures after the jump.