About this project
On September 22 we are going to send 1000 student projects to the edge of space.
These experiments and projects are made by kindergartners, university professors, high school science classes and home schools kids.
All the projects fit inside ping pong balls. We call them PongSats. Students from all over the world send us their PongSats we fly them to 100,000 feet on weather balloons. After the landing the PongSats are returned to their creators along with data from the flight a DVD with video of the launch and on board scenes and a certificate showing they flew.
I'm always completely floored by the project folks put in their PongSats. Projects have ranged from plant seeds to full upper atmospheric labs all in a ping pong ball.
My favorite is the marshmallow. You put a marshmallow inside the ping pong ball. At 100,000 feet the marshmallow puffs up completely filling the ball. Then it freeze dries. The student gets to hold in her hand the direct results of traveling the top of the atmosphere.
PongSats are flown at no cost to the participant. 530 student and other PongSat builders are signed up so far for this September. We are expecting just over a thousand.
We will launch the PongSats from the Black Rock desert in Nevada. The vehicles that carry them are called High Rack. They are made of foam and carbon fiber. We have four separate telemetry links to the High Rack tracking it during the flight. At the end of the flight we release the balloon and the High Rack descends by parachute.
It will take four High Racks, each with its own balloon to carry the thousand ping pong balls.
We land anywhere from 20 to 200 miles away from the launch site. After landing the recover teams with 4wd's head out across the Sierra Nevada mountains to bring the high racks back.
Help us inspire, motivate and enable the next 1000 explorers and share in the amazement of what is achieved.
JP Aerospace is an all volunteer DIY space program. We have flown 6440 PongSats so far. With your help we are going to fly a thousand more this September.
More info about JP Aerospace and PongSats at:
Almost 1,400 PongSats will be on board!!!!
We are building another vehicle to fly on the September mission to carry the overflow of PongSats. Please help us push the funding a little higher to help cover the costs. Thank you!!!
We can't take any more on this mission. We are signing up PongSats for a mission we're flying in April.
There are several thousand of these balloons flown everyday. Most people don't realize that we still get most of our weather information from balloons. They are launched by the national weather service. This has been done everyday for the past 70 years and there has never been and encounter with an airplane. It's a big sky out there.
On top of that we fully coordinate our balloon flights (135 flights so far) with the FAA and air traffic control.
Just mail it. Drop your full size card ($75 reward) or your business size card ($10 reward) in an envelope and mail it to:
2530 Mercantile Dr, Suite I
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
Your card needs to arrive by September 17th to make sure it gets on board. We mail it back to you after the flight.
Absolute, we want as many people as possible to go up into the black!
The first step it to email me. That's all it takes to sign up. I will send you in ID number to write on your PongSat. If you are a group of class let me know how many you need.
I recommend looking at the PongSat users guide. It's on our website http://www.jpaerospace.com
It has helpful things like "how to cut a ping pong ball in half".
You create your PongSat then mail it to us. Address will be in the email. The rules are pretty simple, no live animals, no explosives (ie firecrackers) and no heavier than three ounces. It's actually very hard to get three ounces into a PongSat. You need to mail your PongSat so it arrives to us in California at least five days before the mission. Also include a note about what's in your PongSat. We love finding out what amazing things are done.
That's it! Be creative, explore, try things!