This truly amazing photograph taken by Team Skynet captures the curvature of the earth and reveals the beginning passage to deep, dark space. Dr. Douglas Isenberg’s Experimental Space Systems class launched a balloon satellite Thursday April 11 from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University lower athletic field. The balloon launched by NASA Near Space Research traveled 59 miles in one hour eight minutes and eight seconds before the Team Skynet satellite dropped to earth south of Pine, AZ. The satellite soared to a lofty height of 53,140 feet into the atmosphere above our planet before its descent.

Team Skynet consisting of Embry-Riddle students, Michael Howeth, Paul Solom, Dallas Hodge, Shelby Bates and Sarah Rudiger dedicated this semester to their project and are thrilled of its success.

The foam board payload was a one foot square cube and packed with instruments to secure the raw data of this astonishing flight.

Inside and outside thermistors were installed to record the temperature and in addition pressure instruments were included in the payload. An Inertial Measurement Unit made from rate gyroscopes, accelerometers and sun sensors were responsible for recording the attitude and altitude of the satellite package.

The Canon A-4 80 camera was the pride and joy of Team Skynet taking a picture every 60 seconds of the flight producing over 230 marvelous photographs of this incredible journey.

Michael Howeth says of the experience, “After spending countless hours in the space systems lab troubleshooting problems, I think we were all relieved that everything worked perfectly.”

Congratulations Team Skynet! This is why we love Embry-Riddle.


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