Research Group JP Aerospace Spots Epic Space Battle
While flying hundreds of student experiments a small California research organization spots an epic space battle high above the Earth.
RANCHO CORDOVA, CA, June 01, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- On March 31st, 2012 aircraft modeled after the X-Wing and Tie Fighters from the popular film Star Wars(TM) flew on a research balloon to 97,704 feet. The force was with the little ships as they chased each other around the sky mounted on wires and a servo. After the battle they descended by parachute and landed forty miles downrange.
The X-Wing and Tie Fighter flew on board the Away 66 balloon platform. It was part of a three vehicle mission carrying nearly a thousand science experiments to the edge of space. The experiments were built by school children from Japan, New Zealand and the United States. The flight took place in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada.
"Star Wars helped inspire a lot of us to study space" say Powell. "We want the help kids do something with that inspiration."
The experiments are called PongSats. PongSat stands for ping pong ball satellite. Students put their experiment inside the ping pong ball, tape it together and send it to JP Aerospace. The PongSats are then flown to the edge of space and returned to the student.
All PongSats fly free. 6440 PongSats built by over 20,000 students have flown so far.
The miniature spaceships were flown to help celebrate the 35th anniversary of Star Wars. This flight was JP Aerospace's 137th high altitude mission.
JP Aerospace is an independent space program. They are staffed by all volunteers. Last year they broke world altitude record for airships by flying to 95,085 feet with the Tandem airship.
More images and mission details available at: www.jpaerospace.com/blog.
JP Aerospace is not associated with Lucasfilm Ltd.
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