School Space Race – Ethiopian Launch

SSR Ethiopia Flight Profile

Video showing still images from the Ethiopia launch on the 18th of June will follow. Below is the exciting moment of launch:

The two schools in Ethiopia had to overcome considerably more administrative hurdles than schools in the both the UK and SA. It is a testimony to the staff at the schools and Rainbows 4 Children that their students had the opportunity to take part in this exciting project. Helium had to be shipped up from Addis Ababa and a regulator borrowed from the local hospital at the last minute to make the launch happen.

On launch day laptops where at the ready and receiving and decoding the signal, everything was set for the launch. However, just before we launched both laptops ran out of power and the teams were unable to get them running again until an hour or so into the flight. They were therefore relying on the recovery team who had gone ahead towards the predicted landing zone. As you can see from the image below both balloons flew west towards the Simien Mountains.

Habhub Flight Path

The Nicholas balloon was launched first and the Kallamino ballon about 35 minutes after. This allowed time for the base station to receive quite a lot of data from the Kallamino balloon. They only received four packets from the Nicholas balloon collected by the recovery team. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough data to pin point the landing of the Nicholas balloon and the dog tracker in the payload did not provide an accurate location.

SSR Ethiopia Flight Profile

The Kallamino balloon over sailed the landing zone by some distance and was also lost, the wrong side of a river basin. Both teams are still trying to recover their balloons and Kallamino have a strong lead on writing this post – watch this space! The Kallamino balloon reached a recored height of 28,132 m.

The schools will now be comparing their data with the meteorological office data openly available on the web. If you want to download their telemetry data you can do so here!