Saturday, November 15, 2008

up, up, and away

Jake started his education as an aerospace engineer nearly three months ago. He tells us he's enjoying it and I know his grades are good. One of his classes is called Gateway to Space and the main focus of the class is to design and build a mini-satellite that will perform certain tasks while being launched by a high altitude balloon.

Jake and his team have been working hard on their satellite and today was launch day. The balloon expands to the size of two (yes, I said 2!) football fields. The students can watch it as it climbs in altitude. Once the balloon bursts, the parachute deploys and brings down the satellites that are attached and the students are in hot pursuit.

Jake drove his team over 200 miles round trip to collect the payloads. Everything from the launch to the pick-up was a success. They will now interpret the data they collected. The launch was at 5:00 in the morning and he didn't get home until after 6:00 pm. Long day.

The following pictures were taken from Jake's satellite, which was one of the tasks that his project had to perform. Other tasks included measuring light intensity with photo diodes and solar panels, measuring internal and external temperature, and measuring internal humidity. They figure that outside temperatures reached -40 F. In order to keep everything working, they installed some kind of internal heater.

The following pictures show: (1) a couple hundred feet up (2) a couple thousand feet (3) probably around 70,000 feet (4) 100,000 feet (estimate) (5) 110,000 feet - 20 miles! (6) coming back down. Pretty amazing stuff. Well done, Jake.







I love Saturdays. It's a blessing to be able to sleep in a little bit without having the dog wake me up, telling me he wants out. On Saturdays, Don gets up early and takes care of the dog. I can sleep until my internal clock wakes me up and then if I want to stay in bed and read, I can. Blessing indeed.


Blessing #15 in a month's worth of blessings.

12 comments:

MightyMom said...

awesome pics!

what's he planning on doing with that degree?

MightyMom said...

bought my camera by the way...the one I was looking at. I went to walmart and tried it out...it much smaller than I'd anticipated! :-) It should be delivered before Thanksgiving! So get ready to answer questions!

Penless Thoughts said...

He sound super intelligent and very capable. I know you have to be really proud. The pictures are awesome.
Susan

Ken said...

Way to go Jake. Those were some really nice shots!

jeff@sally said...

That is pretty amazing to see how far his balloon went up. It sounds like he did a great job.

Steve said...

You must be very proud. He sounds, industrious, intelligent, and willing to help his friends.

You did good!

Momma Roar said...

That is amazing! And he's a first semester freshman with those kinds of projects - wow! Sounds like fun! (granted, I was a PE major and got excited taking all the sports classes, LOL)

Jake said...

Thanks Mom!
I appreciate you making this your post for the day!
I love you!

Christine said...

Those photos are incredible.

Melissa said...

Okay - those pictures are just AWESOME!! How fun to have worked on a project like that!!

Jamey said...

That is so cool!! I have always been fascinated by space and those last couple pictures are amazing!! Wow....an aerospace engineer. That's a smart boy!! Awwwww...and so sweet, I just read his comment. GREAT pictures Jake!!!

Lori said...

Very neat photos.