We successfully launched and recovered the command module for the first time.
Despite a few minor hiccups, everything went very well. Packets were received by both the flight
and recovery crews during the ascent and the descent until the spacecraft descended below the radio
horizon. The ascent rate prediction was about half the actual value resulting in a much shorter
flight then anticipated. This, combined with some communication problems, caused the recovery
team to be several miles downwind of the spacecraft landing site. However, using the last known
position, the recovery team was able to quickly converge to the landing zone. Packets from the
command module were then reacquired and the GPS position of the spacecraft was obtained. The
recovery team received permission from the land owners to enter the soy bean field where the
spacecraft had landed. Dave Hultman was the first to spot the parachute draped over some of
the bean plants and the recovery team retrieved the spacecraft.
This mission was a rescheduling of L01
|Date: ||September 4, 2003|
|Launch Site: ||Blooming Prairie High School :: Map :: Web Page|
|Launch Coordinates: ||Latitude: 43.867 N, Longitude: 93.065 W, Altitude: 1290 feet|
|Launch Time: ||6:50 AM|
|Balloon: ||1500 gram Kaysam Balloon|
|Ascent Rate: ||1200 feet/min|
|Descent Rate: ||1100 feet/min|
|Stack Weight: ||10.5 pounds (includes 6lb command module as well as the parachute and harness)|
|Total Lift: ||14.5 pounds|
|Free Lift: ||4 pounds|
|Maximum Altitude: ||10029 feet|
|Landing Time: ||7:05 AM|
|Recovery Time: ||7:40 AM|
|Landing Coordinates: ||Latitude: 43.79 N, Longitude: 93.037 W, Altitude: 1220 feet|
|Mission Manager: ||Greg Nelson|
|Launch Director: ||Kevin Sweeney|
|Flight Director: ||Stephanie Soffa|
|Recovery Director: ||Kevin Sweeney|
|Launch Team: ||Dr. Garrard, Dave Hultman, Zach Pettis, Chris Sanden|
|Recovery Team: ||Dr. Garrard, Dave Hultman, Zach Pettis, Chris Sanden|
- The audio beacon wasn't attached to the command module before launch. This made locating the spacecraft in the bean field difficult.
- Communications between the flight team and the recovery team need to be improved.
- The recovery vehicle GPS beacon needs to be attached in a more secure fashion. The TinyTrak battery cable broke and one of the recovery team members had to hold the wire in place.
- The launch battery, which is used to release the balloon from the launch release lines, was not fully charged and was unable to provide enough voltage to the launch release Nichrome burner. By shortening the launch release wire, the Nichrome burner was able to get enough voltage to cut the line allowing the launch to proceed. In the future, the charge on all the batteries needs to be verified before the day of the launch.
Video taken by Zach Pettis and edited by Kevin Sweeney
Two versions of the video are offered. The WMV file requires the Windows Media Player 9 codec, which
can be obtained from our web page for either WMP 7.0
or for WMP 6.4
. These codecs
can also be obtained directly from Microsoft's Web Site
. The MPEG file is offered as an alternative
for those who cannot install the codec or are using an operating system other then Windows. The
quality of the MPEG is much lower in order to keep the file size small.
The video is 7:26 minutes in length and shows some highlights of the L02 mission including setup,
launch, and recovery.
Web site maintained by Adam Thoreen
Last updated: August 26, 2004