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PongSat 2 !!!!! On September 27, 2014 we are going to send 2000 student projects to the edge of space. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on April 29, 2014.

PongSat 2 !!!!! On September 27, 2014 we are going to send 2000 student projects to the edge of space.

About this project

2000 students will build experiments, art and projects that will be carried above the world by balloon.

Student Experiment at the edge of space.
Student Experiment at the edge of space.

 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.

PongSats!
PongSats!

 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.

Computer in a PongSat
Computer in a PongSat

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. Over a thousand students and other PongSat builders are signed up so far for this September.

PongSat Scientists
PongSat Scientists

We will launch the PongSats from the Black Rock desert in Nevada. The vehicles that carry them are called High Racks. 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.

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. 

A High Rack carrying student projects
A High Rack carrying student projects

 Help us inspire, motivate and enable the next 2000 explorers and share in the amazement of what is achieved. 

Your name on at high altitude pics for reward (This is a real picture from our last Kickstarter drive).
Your name on at high altitude pics for reward (This is a real picture from our last Kickstarter drive).

 JP Aerospace is an all volunteer DIY space program. We have flown over 14,000 PongSats so far. With your help we are going to fly two thousand more this September.

PongSats up top (This is a real picture of PongSats in flight).
PongSats up top (This is a real picture of PongSats in flight).
Actual flight fin as a $1,200 reward.
Actual flight fin as a $1,200 reward.
This is a real picture (no photoshop here).
This is a real picture (no photoshop here).
A student opening their PongSat after a flight.
A student opening their PongSat after a flight.
Our Goal
Our Goal

 Our goal to put the millionth PongSat to the moon. Join with us on the journey. Pledge today.

New Reward: "I Flew" Tee Shirt
New Reward: "I Flew" Tee Shirt
Closeup of the "I Flew" reward tee shirt.
Closeup of the "I Flew" reward tee shirt.

 What if we go over? What would we do with the money? 

Extended Goals:

$16,000, (if we raise $5,000 over our goal) we will fly 500 more PongSats on the September mission. The extra funds would allow us to build an additional vehicle and buy the extra balloon and helium.

$22,000, (double the goal) we will fly another entire PongSat mission in the spring of 2015 with another 2000 Student experiments on board!

$36,000 This is the exciting. This will allow us to launch our whole new student exploration program:  SeaPongs

We will carry student experiments to the depths of the sea and back again. We will do it by the thousands and completely free to students, teachers, explorers and anyone who wonders about the ocean depths. The vehicle is like an inverted balloon carrying the SeaPongs down below 5,000 feet and back again.

Risks and challenges

The most risky part of the journey to the edge of space is the trip to our shop in California. People have sent us very important things to fly as part of their reward that never made it to us. Always pay that extra amount for tracking.

After a mission we will have nearly 3000 individual items to ship back. It can take us up to three weeks to get it all organized and in the mail.

After flying over 14,000 PongSats we have only lost 3. However, the risk for a complete vehicle loss does exist. We have flow 164 flights so far and have gotten pretty good at it. However flight to the edge of space is full of risk. If we lose your card or PongSat you can send up another and we will fly it again on the very next mission.

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FAQ

  • Just mail it to us:

    JP Aerospace
    2530 Mercantile Dr. Suite I
    Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
    USA

    They need to arrive by September 20th to make it on the flight.

    Last updated:
  • Yes, anyone can build and send us a PongSat. You do not need to be a backer. All PongSats are flown for free (except for resale). Just send an email and we'll sign you up. But be sure to hurry the space fills up fast.

    Sent to:
    jpowell@jpaerospace.com

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    36 backers

    A great big thank you from the entire JPA team and all the thousands of PongSat student for your support!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    100 backers All gone!

    "I've been there!" Card from the Edge of Space.
    We are printing 100 business size cards that say "I've been there!" on one side and an edge of space picture on the other side. These cards will fly on the mission to 100,000 feet. Each card will be hand numbered and signed by a JPA team member. Have something that's actually flown!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    75 backers

    Sent at note to the edge!
    We will fly a business card size note from
    you on the mission to 100,000 feet. It can
    be a special note, art, a mini Birthday card
    for that space nut you know. It can even be your business card.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    40 backers

    30 Minute documentary of the mission
    including in flight video and all the launches. On DVD

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    51 backers

    Your name on a sign photographed at 100,000 feet, (with group). You get a DVD with hundreds of pictures and a inflight video of your name. Plus mission DVD.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    4 backers

    Send a full size greeting card to the edge. You send us your card, (convention size 'Hallmark' style card). We fly it on the mission and mail it back to you.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    8 backers

    A signed copy of John Powell's book "Floating to Space, The Airship to Orbit Program". Plus mission DVD.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    0 backers

    The "I Flew" Tee Shirt! This is a great gift for any PongSat builder. Features a dramatic photo from 100,000 feet from a PongSat mission. People talk about going to the edge. Show that you have been there!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers

    JP Aerospace Tee Shirt signed by the entire flight team. Plus mission DVD.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer

    Wedding proposal from the edge of space!

    We will record in HD video your out of this world proposal to your love. You will get a dvd with the video and over 50 still images of your big question on a sign on the vehicle with the Earth and the universe as a background.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer

    "I love you Mom" from the edge of space.

    Tell your Mom she means the world to you, the whole world! You get the DVD of the video with all the video best 50 high resolution still frames of your message to Mom with the Earth below and space above.
    Plus mission DVD.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    4 backers

    Anything you want to say from space sign!
    We'll put your message, picture, artwork, anything you want on a sign on the vehicle flown to the edge of space. We film it with an HD video camera. Look at the picture of the name sign as an example. You get a DVD of the video with all the video best 50 high resolution still frames of your creation with the Earth below and space above. Plus mission DVD.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,200 or more

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    You get an actual vehicle stabilizer fin that flew on the mission. 33X12 inches. Nylon over a carbon frame. Great wall hanging that's
    been there!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $3,500 or more

    0 backers

    You get to name one of the vehicles!

    One of our High Racks balloon craft will be named for you, a loved one or your business. Includes: signs all over the vehicle proclaiming "USS Jim Smith" or the
    "HMS Myers Travel Agency".
    This also includes a sign on the vehicle filmed in flight.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

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Funding period

- (32 days)