2000 students will build experiments, art and projects that will be carried above the world by balloon.
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. Over a thousand students and other PongSat builders are signed up so far for this September.
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.
Help us inspire, motivate and enable the next 2000 explorers and share in the amazement of what is achieved.
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.
Our goal to put the millionth PongSat to the moon. Join with us on the journey. Pledge today.
What if we go over? What would we do with the money?
$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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter