What to space, ping pong balls and crowd sourcing have in common? Flying actual student missions to the edge of space.
RANCHO CORDOVA, CA, July 26, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- On September 22 they all come together as part of a mission to the edge of space. A small California Aerospace organization is using the Kickstarter crowd sourcing website to fund sending a thousand student projects to 100,000 feet by balloon.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1569698176/1000-student-projects- ... e-of-space
The thousand projects come from by kindergarteners, university professors, high school science classes and home schools kids. The projects are flown at no cost to the participant.
All the projects fit inside ping pong balls. They call them PongSats. Students from all over the world send their PongSats to JP Aerospace and they fly them to 100,000 feet on weather balloons. After the landing the PongSats are returned to their creators along with data from the flight a DVD with video of the launch and on board scenes.
"I'm always completely floored by the projects folks put in their PongSats," says John Powell, President of JP Aerospace. "Projects have ranged from plant seeds and marshmallows to full upper atmospheric labs all in a ping pong ball."
The JPA team will launch the PongSats from the Black Rock desert in Nevada. The vehicles that carries them is made of foam and carbon fiber. There are four separate telemetry links to the balloon tracking it during flight. At the end of the mission the vehicle with its PongSats descends by parachute.
Crowd sourcing sites such as Kickstarter have become a real driver for the small space race movement. Social media such as Facebook make crowd sourcing possible. Project like as new space suit designs and satellites are getting a funding boost from the Internet.
JP Aerospace is an all volunteer DIY space program. They have flown 6440 student experiments so far. With crowd sourcing and ping pong balls, this September, they will fly a thousand more.
More information at:
http://www.jpaerospace.comhttp://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1569698176/1000-student-projects- ... e-of-space
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