Flight Five - May 15, 2014
Balloon Size: 1200 gram
Payload Weight: 27.662 ounces or 823.8 grams
Neck Lift: 3.457 pounds
Free Lift: 100%
Ascent Rate: 2100-3500 feet/minute
Descent Rate: Was unable to calculate
Burst Altitude (predicted): 75,000'
Burst Altitude (actual): 82,157'
HAM Call Signs: W0RC-12
Launch Location: Staples, MN Airport
Facebook Page: FMS STEM Facebook Page

Our class started on January 8. We are going to be sending two balloons up. One will be a 1200g balloon that will carry a palyoad that contains a camera and GoPro. The plan is to get as high as possible. We are hoping for 120,000+ feet. The other will be a 600g balloon that will be carrying scientific experiments designed by various classrooms around the building.

The students spent the first week or so discussing their payloads and the best way to design the payload so it is able to hold all gear it needs to accomplish it's goal.

Discussing the best possible design Doing a little research
Trying to fit all the components Next stop, CAD lab
Trying to best fit our still camera Using past payloads to help in the refinement of our new payloads

We spent a couple days in the CAD lab designing our payloads using the 3D rendering software. These drawings will be used as templates to cut out the pieces for the payloads and be used to put their respective payloads together.

Placing objects in the payload in CAD Our new R-Trak HAB holder. Nice job Jaden!
Making some final measurements Fitting pieces with drill press
Final lid with 3D printed stick holder 3D printer printing stick holder
Biological payload being dry fit 1200 gram balloon payload glued and ready for final prep

We launched our balloon on May 15th from the Staples, MN airport at 8:25am. We ended up sending up one 1200gram balloon. Everything was going great for the first 20 minutes or so and then we lost communication with our primary tracker. This happened once before and we are not sure why. We ended up hanging out at the local Burger King and waiting till the payload was back on the ground. By 10:30, we had not heard back from our secondary tracker the PocketFinder. After a lengthly discussion, we ended up going back to FMS to regroup and wait till our little PocketFinder came back on line.

After a long stressful night, our PocketFinder came back on line at 7:40am and gave us an update as to it's location. Talk about an excited group of kids. The pictures below show the landing zone. We could not have asked for a better location. Easy walk. We ended going to the next day after a LONG day at school to retreive our payload.

Our "landing zone" after the move Actually ended up in adjacent field
Landed next to this field Jaden with our payload in hand

Here is a group shot from the landing zone.

Here is the video of our complete flight. The balloon experienced severe turbulence and and did some pretty big flips. It appears that the balloon may have caught on the sticks which caused the balloon to rip at approximately 65,000 feet or so.