The first flight of the Central Nebraska Near Space Program was, for the most part, a success thanks to Mark , N9XTN for allowing us to fly tandem with NSTAR flight 05-C.
We assembled at the Seward, NE fairgrounds launch site at around 0800. A Kaymont 1000 gram Extreme Latex weather balloon was the vehicle of choice. The balloon was filled with approximately 290 cubic feet of Helium. The launch took place around 0900 CDT. The weather was cool, in the mid 50’s and the sky was overcast at about 12,000’. The duration of this flight was just over 2 hours and covered just under 50 miles of straight-line distance. Landing was ENE of Elmwood, NE in a cornfield. Our average ascent rate was 1200 feet/min. LiftWin calculated the ascent rate at ~1290 feet/min. The highest altitude recorded was 92,000 feet by the NSTAR payload and 91,000 by ours. Collectively we took over 300 pictures, a few of, which were exceptional. We had some difficulty decoding the posits from our payload. The signal was full scale on Jack’s (WY0F) ICOM 706, and the KPC3+ was “seeing” it because the “rec” LED was coming on. The TinyTrak3 was sending posits every 60 seconds, but there were many times we weren’t getting updates for several minutes. Thank goodness we were flying with a proven tracker and an experienced group. All in all it has been a rewarding project to work on, and it was an exciting day. I look forward to many more. The actual landing came up short of the predicted landing due to the fact that we added a bit more helium to ensure a quicker balloon burst and subsequent shorter flight. This was done to avoid the payloads coming down in the vicinity of the Missouri River.
Rog – KC0MWM