The following came into my inbox this am and I am sharing it with you:
Out of this World Record!
Perth Group breaks world record with Near Space Launch
This past weekend the Perth group known as the Lanark Amateur Space Agency set a new world record altitude for near space flight. LASA’s eighth launch .commenced at the Perth Fair Grounds just before 09am EST. The gusty weather made the launch of the 7ft diameter gas filled balloon a hair raising experience. Chase team Driver Rick Szijarto said “I knew we’d be in for a good long drive when we saw the balloon traveling in the jet stream at 250km/h..The chase teams were following the balloon’s on board GPS. The Position, Height, Speed and direction of the balloon were sent to the team over amateur radio frequencies. When the teams reached Were East pf Montreal it was clear that the group had achieved their mission goal of setting the Amateur Radio High Altitude Ballooning (ARHAB) world record for altitude. Supporters Bob Sharp VA3QV and Tim Richards in Ottawa, contacted the chase teams to confirm the new record had been achieved. Long time LASA member Marc Baillon currently traveling with his family in Europe followed the flight on the internet and called the Chase team en route to congratulate them on :”smashing the record”:
After the balloon – then nearly 30 feet in diameter- burst at peak altitude the payload parachuted to the Earth still being blown rapidly to the East. The Chase teams would be paralleling the fight of LASA 1 back in November 2007 which landed in Highland Plantation Northern Maine.. Heading towards the Quebec New Hampshire international boarder navigator Peter McCracken led the chase team through the North East Appalachian mountains to Jay Maine.
The balloon was easily recovered from a forested area not far from the Verso Paper-Androscoggin mill . The payload just missed a watery landing, hanging up in a small oak tree only a few yards from the Androscoggin River. When recovered the payload was still broadcasting its position over radio frequencies. Using local amateur “digipeaters” the position of the balloon payload was relayed to the internet.
Late Sunday morning the Recovery team headed back to Canada with both the payload and world record in hand. The group is in contact with ARHAB to officially register the World Record of 39 899m or 130 902 ft
The mission was also a spiritual journey of sorts. LASA communications expert Barry Crampton (VE3BSB) paid tribute to John W. Soderberg, W1AKV of Vermont. John was integrally involved in locating and retrieving LASAs 7th mission- balloon payload one year ago. On November 7 of this year John passed away at the age of 90. In his memory LASA members attached a photo of John and a copy of his obituary to the Record breaking LASA8 payload. The photo will be forwarded to John’s family. Crampton stated “John’s family and friends were deeply touched by the heavenly gesture”
The next mission for LASA will be in partnership with St John Elementary and St John High School in late April. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the atmosphere, geography, telemetry and even launch their own experiments into near space. In 2008 St John Elementary grade 7/8 class launched a near space balloon. Teacher Jen Havaeks remembered that “students were very excited to have a hands on opportunity to explore science and were very motivated to participate.”. LASA has received generous donations from Amateur Radio Clubs, Businesses, and individuals, which it will be putting towards costs of the students’ spring launch
For more information including a 3D google earth view of the flight and photos or to get involved please visit www.lanarkspaceagency.org
Peter McCracken (VA3ZKS)
613 264-1458 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 613 264-1458