[Update: On August 14, 2011, we successfully launched and recovered HAPPy 1.0 after it flew to a height of 95,000 feet above the earth.]

There is something pretty fascinating about sending a camera and other equipment up into the stratosphere to a height over three times higher than the maximum altitude of commercial airliners!

The payload will be lifted by a Kaymont sounding balloon to a height of over 100,000 feet. At this altitude there is a near vacuum and the balloon will have expanded to over 30 feet in diameter eventually causing it to burst.  Kaymont balloons are designed to fully shred upon burst so there should be no large pieces of balloon left to tangle with the parachute.  During the ascent and decent the payload will be collecting data (temperature, bearing, velocity, altitude, latitude & longitude etc.) recording video and taking photographs. This data will be written to two solid state storage devices (SD and CF cards) to be analyzed after we retrieve the payload. Additionally, a  tiny APRS radio will periodically broadcast GPS co-ordinates which will aid us in tracking and recovering the capsule.

Currently our team consists of two people:

Hello my name is Geoffrey and I live in St. Louis Missouri. I am 14 years old and fascinated by flight which brought me into this project. I enjoy studying aviation and am involved in R.C. flying (remote control). It great that I have the chance to work on this and I cannot wait to see it get in the air.

My name is Greg Lawler. I live in Santa Barbara and am stoked to be involved in a project that combines photography and general computer nerdery 🙂