Mission: L03


Our second test flight went very well. We tested our ability to command a cut down from the flight station. The cut down command was given at an altitude of 30,000 ft. Our original goal was to fly to an altitude of 50,000 feet, however, the FAA expresed serious concerns about using Blooming Prairie as a launch site. The mission also tested the recovery team's ability to track and recover the spacecraft during a longer mission.
We made several improvements to this mission based on our experience from L02. The audio beacon was placed on the command module and activated and this made locating the command module in the corn field very easy. The recovery vehicle beacon was secured to a piece of sheet metal and worked very well during the entire mission. A launch switch was finally built to activate the launch release. This worked much better then holding bare wires to a battery.
Jessie Hakes, a student from the College of St. Catherine, came and participated in the launch and recovery. She is working with Dr. Terry Flower as a part of the NASA Workforce Developement Project.
The mission was rescheduled from the 11th of October due to adverse winds and weather conditions.

Flight Information:

Date: October 19, 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: 7:39 AM
Balloon: 1500 gram Kaysam Balloon
Ascent Rate: 1100 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: 28990 feet
Landing Time: 8:25 AM
Recovery Time: 9:00 AM
Landing Coordinates: Latitude: 43.47 N, Longitude: 93.47 W, Altitude: 1350 feet


Mission Manager: Greg Nelson
Launch Director: Kevin Sweeney
Flight Director: Stephanie Soffa
Recovery Director: Kevin Sweeney
Flight Team: Matt Thomasson
Launch Team: Jessie Hakes, Chris Sanden, Matt Thomasson
Recovery Team: Jessie Hakes, Chris Sanden

Lessons learned:

Flight Data:

Map of the Flight Path Altitude vs. Time Ascent Rate vs. Time


Pictures taken by Jesse Hakes
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Pictures taken by Chris Sanden
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All pictures from L03


Video taken by Jessie Hakes 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 greater 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 9:20 minutes in length and shows some highlights of the L03 mission including setup, launch, and recovery.
WMV Video File Size: 34.5MB
MPEG Video File Size: 39.0MB
Web site maintained by Adam Thoreen
Last updated: August 26, 2004