Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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Ballooning team launches
The Minnesota Space Grant ballooning team looks on as their first balloon launches. A photographer from the Minnesota Daily is also pictured, capturing the event for the following day's newspaper. Clip available here.

The newly-formed Minnesota Space Grant Consortium's ballooning team completed their inaugural launch in June, launching a temperature-sensing transmitter on a small, helium-filled balloon that made its way above the cloud cover before transmissions ceased. They recently returned from a ballooning conference in Nebraska, and plan to launch their first research payload sometime next week.

Larger balloons carrying research payloads will make their way into the atmosphere later this summer. Machinery needs to be essentially space-worthy, as the balloons will make it to near-space conditions - enough to photograph the curvature of the Earth - before falling back back to earth.

Meet the team:

Ballooning member

Name: Katrina Faucett
Major:
Physics and Mechanics Engineering
Plans after graduation:
Working with Robotics, preferably in a space-related field.
Why did you join the team?
I worked with the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium for a few years on a similar project, and I was interested in restarting this one.
What are you looking forward to the most in this project? Being in a chase vehicle - chasing a balloon as it is 100,000 feet above your head - that is fun.

Ballooning memberName: Derrick Tetzman
Major:
Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
Plans after graduation:
Join the Air Force
Why did you join the team?
I was interested in the potential for hands-on experience and creating research payloads.
What are you looking forward to the most in this project? I am looking forward to launching my research payload - a geiger counter in an aluminum box, and measuring the changes in radiation as the balloon ascends.

 

Ballooning member

Name: Luke Santo
Major:
Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, Math
Plans after graduation: Industry or teaching Math
Why did you join the team?
I was looking for hands-on experience, and this was a good opportunity to learn about researching and building near-space equipment.
What are you looking forward to the most in this project? I am looking forward utilizing the GPS tracking system and chasing the balloon and payloads.

 

Ballooning memberName: Carla Bodensteiner
Major:
Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
Plans after graduation:
Work with wind energy in industry
Why did you join the team?
I was interested in the hands-on aspect of the project, and I like that we get to design our own experiments for launch.
What are you looking forward to the most in this project? I am looking forward to being able to track and receive our research payloads.

 

 

Ballooning member

Name: John Mehawej
Major:
Biomedical Engineering
Why did you join the team?
I joined the team in order to explore other branches of engineering in which I might major.
What are you looking forward to the most in this project? The part of the project I'm looking forward to most is the excitement of launching and tracking our balloon satellites

 

 


Last Modified: Wednesday, 22-Aug-2012 11:38:52 CDT -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation