We’ve seen this experiment a few times before, but never with Hello Kitty “catonaut” in a Japanese rocket made by a 12-year-old. And perhaps not with such a glorious pop:
NASA doesn’t have a lock on space exploration anymore. Just ask Lauren Rojas, a seventh grader in Antioch, Calif., who recently launched a balloon to 93,625 feet using a do-it-yourself balloon kit from High Altitude Science…
The project is a terrific illustration of just how accessible the near-space environment has become. High Altitude Science was founded two years ago by Joseph Maydell, a flight controller for the International Space Station at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, who wanted everyone to experience the beautiful views of the planet that he got to see in the course of his work.
Not only does Maydell sell a kit and a flight computer on his site, but he also includes tutorials to get started with.
From the archives, more views of Earth’s curvature.
via Scientific American.
Early this morning at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, SpaceX launched the first ever private spacecraft — the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket — to the International Space Station on an unmanned mission to deliver food, clothes, other supplies, and science experiments to the astronauts who are currently stationed there. And this is only the first of 11 more planned flights to the space station. Incredible and historic!!!
And stay til the end of the video, where at around the 10m mark, Falcon 9 and Dragon go into orbit and we get to see Mission Control, and (eventually) some (relieved) high fives and hugs.
from NASA Television. (Updated with embed-capable video.)
Aerostat — a lovely video of a balloon and video camera’s journey high enough to see space where it recorded an enviable sun flare shot — reminded me of this video shown above: Homemade Spacecraft/Space Balloon.
Launched by a father and his seven year old in August, 2010, their homemade balloon and video camera set up (housed in a takeout container) also got to see the curve of the Earth, climbing 19 miles high before the balloon burst. It includes a bit more nitty gritty from their experiment, with lots of onscreen notes. Great stuff if you’re itchin’ to DIY with your own weather balloon, video camera and iPhone.