Nevada Space Grant
Student
High-Altitude Ballooning

NV SGC
This program is generously supported by the Nevada Space Grant Consortium


Nevada from 107,000 feet
NBS-09-02 Image of the entire visible Earth, taken with a circular fisheye lens (click for full size image).

Mission Data

Mission Identifier
Date
Maximum Alt.
(MSL)
Comments
NBS-09-05
November 21, 2009
110,504 ft
Flew 8 student built payloads, all using the Nearsys BalloonSat mini flight computers. The flight computers controlled the payload heaters. Main mission objectives were to test the BalloonSat mini kit, to flight test a new Canon camera using CHDK hack, and to flight test the new SPOT 2 GPS tracker. Total of 28 participants made this our largest launch effort to date.

3000 gram balloon, 11.5 lb payload, 72" TAC-1 parachute
NBS-09-04
October 3, 2009
~85,000 ft
(exact max not known)
Our 2nd hydrogen balloon launch (about 10 seconds after the our first). Mission objective was to learn how to conduct a hydrogen launch. Launch was conducted with Idaho Space Grant. Two hydrogen balloons were launched (NBS-09-03 and NBS-09-04). Touch down of both parachutes was witnessed.

1200 gram balloon, 6 lb payload, unknown parachute (belonged to Idaho Space Grant).
NBS-09-03
October 3, 2009 86,998 ft
Our first hydrogen balloon launch. Mission objective was to learn how to conduct a hydrogen launch. Launch was conducted with Idaho Space Grant. Two hydrogen balloons were launched (NBS-09-03 and NBS-09-04). Touch down of both parachutes was witnessed.

1200 gram balloon, 6 lb payload, 60" Tac-1 parachute
NBS-09-02
September 27, 2009
106,819 ft
Flew 3 student payloads, including a circular fisheye lens. Witnessed the balloon burst for the 2nd time to date.

3000 gram balloon
NBS-09-01
January 11, 2009
110,858 ft
Winter launch with the goal of photographing Lake Tahoe and to try a second cell phone test. Flight path had us fly directly over Reno at 110,000 feet. Longest recovery hike to date. Also captured high quality video of the balloon bursting. Verified that cell phones do not function at altitude.

3000 gram balloon
NBS-08-07
November 23, 2008
87,739 ft
Main mission goal was to determine if a cell phone would function at altitude. Cell phone lost reception above 20,000 feet. Also captured high quality video of the balloon bursting.

2000 gram balloon
NBS-08-06
November 8, 2008
98,786 ft
Flew 4 student payloads as part of a class activity. Also flew a Canon camera with the CHDK hack for the first time.

3000 gram balloon
NBS-08-05
July 29, 2008
99,570 ft
Second balloon launched during the HALE event. This balloon carried 6 payloads plus the communications payload. Check out the combined photo gallery for both NBS-08-04 and NBS-08-05. Also check out the YouTube video.

Launch was sponsored by The LEGO Mindstorms Team, Energizer, and National Instruments.

3000 gram balloon, 17 lb payload, TAC-9A parachute.
NBS-08-04
July 29, 2008
99,712 ft
First balloon launched for the High Altitude LEGO Extravaganza  (HALE). The balloon carried 5 LEGO NXT payloads plus the communicatios payload. One the payloads was dropped from 82,000 feet and free fell for 60 seconds before deploying it's parachute. The rest of the payloads continued on up to just shy of 100,000 feet. We relied heavily on the SPOT GPS units to recover the payloads. Check out the combined photo gallery for both NBS-08-04 and NBS-08-05.

Launch was sponsored by The LEGO Mindstorms Team, Energizer, and National Instruments.

3000 gram balloon, 17 lb payload, TAC-9A parachute.
NBS-08-03
July 10, 2008
53,096 ft
Mission objectives were to 1) test the SPOT GPS device again and 2) to recover a very small payload. Both objectives were in preparation for  the HALE launch. During HALE, we will be deploying a small free-fall experiment and we wanted to know how difficult it would be to locate a small payload. This mission was by far the most hastily put together to date.  At the last minute we decided we wanted one more test of the SPOT. The payload consisted of the SPOT, a logging GPS unit (so that we would have a record of trajectory at high altitude), and a small camera. The mission was a complete success. 350 gram balloon, 1.2 lb payload,  20-inch TAC-1 parachute. Altitude profile.
NBS-08-02
March 24, 2008
100,351 ft
Mission objective was to re-fly a large instrumentation payload, which ended up getting too cold during the last launch. Secondary objectives included testing of a new satellite-based tracking system, testing of a  new on board GPS logger, testing of a miniature autopilot system for a glider, testing of 900 MHz data telemetry system, the performance of a LEGO motor at altitude, and a new camera with fisheye lens. Total payload weight was 25 lbs. Everything functioned as planned with two exceptions: the secondary communication system's J-Pole antenna broke again (during descent) and the fisheye camera did not function. 3000 gram balloon, 25 lb payload, TAC-9A parachute. Check out:
NBS-08-01
January 21, 2008
~81,000'
(exact max not known)
Mission objective was to fly a large instrumentation payload. We also tested software that automatically logs the GPS packets received on the ground station radio. We  launched during a snow storm. Both the primary and secondary communication systems failed (at different times). The tertiary, satellite-based, system worked and the payloads were recovered the next day. 3000 gram balloon, 21 lb payload, TAC-9A parachute. Photo gallery.
NBS-07-08
November 4, 2007
111,000+
(exact max not known)
Joint mission between UNR and TMCC. 5 student payloads. Never lost visual contact. Witnessed the balloon popping at 111,000+ feet with the naked eye. Unfortunately, none of us wrote down the actual altitude (we were all busy watching the burst). The final altitude was somewhere between 111k and 112k. First launch at the Granite Springs site. Photo gallery. 3000 gram balloon, 84-inch TAC-1 parachute.
NBS-07-07
September 12, 2007
101,253'
Launched during the ARLISS (CanSat) competition. Primary payload was a 10MP digital SLR camera. Heavy smoke due to wildfires. Photo gallery.
NBS-07-06
August 18, 2007
97,054'
Joint mission between UNR, UNLV, TMCC, and WNC. Second flight with 10MP digital SLR. Flight Recap. Photo gallery. YouTube video is also available.
NBS-07-05
August 14, 2007
~5000' AGL
(exact max not known)
Low altitude mission. Tested dual balloon cutdown system for floating a payload. Also tested deployment of an RC paraglider at about 1000 feet AGL. Photo gallery.
NBS-07-04
August 8, 2007
8,444'
Tethered and low altitude missions. Tethered missions to test new 8 channel DTMF system and deployment of an RC paraglider. Low altitude test on same day to test dual balloon cutdown system for floating a payload. Photo gallery.
NBS-07-03
July 26, 2007
~1000' AGL
(exact max not known)
Low altitude mission to re-test cutdown system. Successful mission. Photo gallery includes a video of the parachute opening after cutdown.
NBS-07-02
July 24, 2007
65,642'
First launch at Bedell Flats location (NW of Reno). Planned for low altitude mission to evaluate feasibility of launch location, new primary communication system.  Cutdown system failed but payloads successfully tracked and recovered after a long hike near Pyramid Lake. Photo gallery.
NBS-07-01
February 17, 2007
~85,000'
(exact max not known)
Joint mission with UNR, UNLV, WNCC. The launch location was about 2 hours from Las Vegas. The mission objectives were to test a new digital SLR camera, test a small video camera, and fly a savonius rotor  (horizontal axis windmill) with the hope it provided gyroscopic stabilization. The surface winds were so high, that we popped one balloon during filling and then broke the savonius rotor during the second launch. All payloads were recovered. Check out the YouTube video and photo gallery.
NBS-06-01
November 12, 2006
85,321'
4 Student payloads.  First mission after 2-year hiatus. Re-testing all flight hardware. Check out the YouTube video.
NBS-04-01
September 26, 2004
~40,000'
(exact max not known)
All new hardware developed since last payload was lost. Tested new communications payload, cutdown system, and animal tracker.
E0SS-079A
June 19, 2004
85,540'
Colorado Space Grant Workshop. Launch services provided by EOSS.
NBS-03-03 August 19, 2003  unknown Medium altitude mission planned for uplinked cutdown command (with timed cutdown as backup). Payload lost.
NBS-03-02 August 8, 2003 34,488' Low altitude (timed cutdown) mission with new prototype hardware. Flight Recap. Successful flight and recovery.
NBS-03-01
July 3, 2003
> 73,435'
First mission of Nevada's prototype hardware. First mission operated "on our own". Flight Recap. Payload lost.
EOSS-67
June 14, 2003
46,256'
Colorado Space Grant Workshop II. Launch services provided by EOSS. Flight Recap.
EOSS-57A
June 22, 2002
96,506'
Colorado Space Grant Workshop I. Launch services provided by EOSS. Flight Recap.