434 MHz balloon B-64 returning to UK again

B-64 transmitter payload weighs just 11 grams - Credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

B-64 transmitter payload weighs just 11 grams – Credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER launched his solar powered balloon B-64, carrying an 11 gram transmitter payload, from Silverstone in the UK at 06:51 UT on July 12, 2014 and it’s still flying.

It completed its first circumnavigation of the Northern Hemisphere at 16:30 UT on Friday, July 31 and is expected to complete the second circumnavigation in the next couple of days.

On the afternoon of Thursday, August 21 the balloon was just west of Reykjavik in Iceland heading south at an altitude of 12,500 metres.  Radio amateurs in the British Isles are invited to listen out for the balloon which may come in range late Friday or on Saturday.

B-64 transmits 10 mW on 434.500 MHz using the amateur radio data modes Contestia 64/1000 and APRS (M0XER-4).

The path of the balloon over the past 6 weeks can be seen on the UKHAS tracker at http://spacenear.us/tracker/flyb.php

An APRS map showing the past 24 hours is at http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=11&call=a%2FM0XER-4&timerange=86400&tail=86400

B-64 plastic foil envelope - Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

B-64 plastic foil envelope – Credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Leo has utilised some clever techniques storing positions when the balloon is out of radio contact then later transmitting a log file of previous locations in the comments field of the APRS packet. This enables a fairly complete path to be built up. B-64 only stores 5 days worth of data, where you get a straight line on the track it has been out of radio contact.

Leo Bodnar M0XER balloons http://www.leobodnar.com/balloons/

Listen for B-64 online using the SUWS WebSDR, further details at http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

Online real-time tracking of balloons http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Mobile Tracker http://habitat.habhub.org/mobile-tracker/

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi software http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide

Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) Guide http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:ssdv (note no SSDV on B-64)

See received SSDV images on the web at http://ssdv.habhub.org/

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address: ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Follow balloon chat on the #highaltitude IRC channel at http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude

What is Amateur Radio ? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

 

Typical 434 MHz solar powered payload - Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Typical 434 MHz solar powered payload – Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

434 MHz Balloon B-64 Completes Epic Journey

B-64 Flight Path July 12 to July 31 2014

B-64 Flight Path July 12 to July 31, 2014

At about 16:30 GMT on Friday, July 31, the solar powered B-64 balloon launched by radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER crossed the 1 degree West longitude line completing its circumnavigation of the northern hemisphere in just over 19 days.

Oliver M6ODP receiving B-64 at St Michael's Mount

Oliver M6ODP receiving B-64 at St Michael’s Mount

The balloon, flying at an altitude of 12 km, completed its transatlantic crossing and came within range of Cornwall in the morning. Oliver De Peyer M6ODP happened to be visiting St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall at the time. He used his Kenwood TH-F7E handheld to receive an APRS packet from the balloon.

As the day progressed B-64 moved from just south of Cornwall up the English Channel and radio amateurs and listeners from Manchester to Nantes in France were able to receive the 10 mW Contestia 64/1000 and APRS signal on 434.500 MHz.

B-64 passed over the Isle of Wight and floated over Bognor Regis and across Kent heading out into the North Sea near Herne Bay. As of mid-day Saturday it was still flying and transmitting over Sweden and being tracked by members of AMSAT-SM.

B-64 APRS packet received by Oliver M6ODP

B-64 APRS packet received by Oliver M6ODP

Leo Bodnar M0XER launched his balloon carrying an 11 gram transmitter payload from Silverstone in the UK at 06:51 GMT on July 12, 2014. While Leo’s earlier balloons had been foil type party balloons B-64 was a  plastic foil envelope that he made himself.

Using the amateur radio APRS network and the UKHAS network the location of B-64 was tracked as it traveled over Europe, Siberia, with a brief sojourn across North Korea, before heading out over Japan and across the Pacific Ocean. It then briefly entered the United States before swinging north into Canada.

It was heard in Greenland by Peter Thulesen OX3XR and on Friday morning finally came within range of the British Isles.

B-64 plastic foil envelope - Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

B-64 plastic foil envelope – Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Leo has utilised some clever techniques storing positions when the balloon is out of radio contact then later transmitting a log file of previous locations in the comments field of the APRS packet. This enables a fairly complete path to be built up. B-64 only stores 5 days worth of data, where you get a straight line on the track it has been out of radio contact.

See the track of B-64 at http://spacenear.us/tracker/?filter=B-64 or at http://habitat.habhub.org/mobile-tracker/

Leo Bodnar M0XER balloons http://www.leobodnar.com/balloons/

Members of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society received the signal from B-64. Just 4 weeks earlier, thanks to Chris Stubbs M6EDF, the Society had launched a balloon CARS-1 from their meeting venue. That balloon didn’t have solar power so the signal only lasted for about 10 hours. CARS training organiser Clive G1EUC reported receiving a strong signal from B-64.

B-64 transmitter payload weighs just 11 grams

B-64 transmitter payload weighs just 11 grams

Clive is currently taking names for the next amateur radio Foundation course which starts on Thursday, September 4. If you’d like to join the course or wish to find out more about the hobby give him a ring on:
Tel: 01245-224577
Mob: 07860-418835
Email: training2014 at g0mwt.org.uk
Web: http://www.g0mwt.org.uk/training/

What is Amateur Radio ?
http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

The UK High Altitude Society (UKHAS) Conference takes place Saturday, August 16, 2014 at the University of Greenwich in London
http://ukhas.org.uk/general:ukhasconference2014

Further 434 MHz balloon links at
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/07/30/434-mhz-balloon-goes-around-the-world/

Typical 434 MHz solar powered payload - Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Typical 434 MHz solar powered payload – Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

 

 

Wirral Grammar School for Girls to launch 434 MHz Balloon

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon - Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI/2E0LTX/M0RPI

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon – Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI/2E0LTX/M0RPI

Pupils at Wirral Grammar School for Girls are planning to launch a High Altitude Balloon equipped with 434 MHz telemetry and Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) transmitters.

The launch is planned for Wednesday, July 16 at around 11:00 BST from Middletown Hill near Welshpool, weather permitting. The balloon will be a 1200g Hwoyee with Helium and the transmitter details are:

Callsign: WG3
Frequency: 434.300 MHz
Mode: RTTY 50,7n2 470 Hz shift

Callsign: WG3TV
Frequency: 434.350 MHz
Mode: RTTY 300,8n2 610 Hz shift SSDV + telemetry

The balloon will carry a Raspberry Pi A with RFM22B based daughterboard. The radio coverage area could extend up to a radius of 700 km which would make it receivable throughout the British Isles.

Online real-time tracking of balloons http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi software http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide

See received SSDV images on the web at http://ssdv.habhub.org/

Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) Guide http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:ssdv

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:
ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Follow the launch day chat on the #highaltitude IRC channel at http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude

Listen to Balloons via the Web

Radio amateurs Noel G8GTZ, Martin G8JNJ and Phil M0DNY from the Southampton University Wireless Society, have established an Internet accessible WebSDR receiver near Basingstoke in the UK. It has special helix antennas optimised for balloon and satellite reception in the 144 and 434 MHz bands and can be listened to from anywhere in the world. Listen using the WebSDR at http://websdr.suws.org.uk/

Chelmsford landing planned for SSDV Balloons

Image from the SUPER balloon launched by Dave Akerman M0RPI on July 12, 2014

434 MHz SSDV image from the SUPER balloon launched by Dave Akerman M0RPI on July 12, 2014

Radio amateur Philip Crump M0DNY plans a number of High Altitude Balloon (HAB) flights this weekend transmitting Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV).

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon - Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI/2E0LTX/M0RPI

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon – Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI/2E0LTX/M0RPI

The launches will take place from Gilwell Park near Epping Forest and the balloons are expected to land around Chelmsford in Essex.

They are planned as part of the Gilwell 24 Scouts Activity event, taking place from 9am Saturday, July 12 through the night to 9am Sunday, July 13 in Gilwell Park. The plan is to monitor predictions/weather, prepare the payload, launch when convenient, then Philip M0DNY will chase, recover and repeat, up to 2 additional times.

The balloons are 100g hwoyees, and so are only expected to reach around 14 km altitude due to the weight, and increasing chances of wet landing for a longer flight. A Raspberry Pi is being used for the SSDV, and will store images as well as short but frequent video clips.

Due to tracker issues Philip may be flying a borrowed SUSF tracker on 434.613 MHz, replacing his one on 424.125 MHz.

The USB frequencies used will be
• 434.200 MHz – G24HAB – 600 baud SSDV
And either:
• 434.125 MHz – GILWELL24 – 50 baud RTTY
Or:
• 434.613 MHz – GILWELL24 – 50 baud RTTY + 300 baud TurboHAB FSK (SSB)

The 434.613 MHz tracker will alternate between 50 baud RTTY and 300 baud binary TurboHAB. To decode the binary error corrected format you need this decoder: http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/mfb2g09/decoder/decoder.jar , which has been updated since last time. To decode the binary protocol you first need to change ‘Encoding’ to BIN and ‘Baud’ to 300. Upon changing the callsign and position you need to press ‘Update’ for the new data to be used. It will be interesting to see the relative performance, the error correction should make most difference where there is noise or fading.

First launch is tentatively scheduled for 2pm BST Saturday. Philip will post updates on Twitter and #highaltitude. There will most likely be a live stream of the launches check http://batc.tv/ch_live.php?ch=3

David Akerman M0RPI and Heston Blumenthal with balloon - Image credit M0RPI

David Akerman M0RPI with balloon – Image credit M0RPI

Dave Akerman M0RPI is also launching on Saturday between 10-11am from Ross On Wye. His balloon will be transmitting on three frequencies one of which will be Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV).

$$SUPER: 434.450 MHz, 300 baud RTTY, 880 Hz shift, USB, 8, N, 2, SSDV
$$UAD: 434.480 MHz, Domino EX22
$$UAR: 434.475 MHz, 50 baud RTTY, 400 Hz shift, USB, 7, N, 1

There should be live video streaming on BATC.TV The chase car is M0RPI_chase:
http://www.batc.tv/streams/m0rpi
http://www.batc.tv/streams/m0rpi_chase

The balloons should have a radio range of up to 700 km providing coverage over a large part of the British Isles and into Europe.

Listen to the Balloons via the Web

Radio amateurs Noel G8GTZ, Martin G8JNJ and Phil M0DNY from the Southampton University Wireless Society, have established an Internet accessible WebSDR receiver near Basingstoke in the UK. It has special helix antennas optimised for balloon and satellite reception in the 144 and 434 MHz bands and can be listened to from anywhere in the world. Listen using the WebSDR at http://websdr.suws.org.uk/

Online real-time tracking of balloons http://spacenear.us/tracker/

See the received SSDV images on the web at http://ssdv.habhub.org/

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi software http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide

Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) Guide http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:ssdv

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:
ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Follow the launch day chat on the #highaltitude IRC channel at
http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude

The Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society have a new short training course for those wishing to become radio amateurs starting on September 4. To find out more speak to Clive G1EUC on
Tel: 01245-224577
Mob: 07860-418835
E-mail: training2014 at g0mwt.org.uk
Web: http://www.g0mwt.org.uk/training/

What is Amateur Radio ? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

MP Congratulates Students on near Space Program

Valerie Vaz MP

Valerie Vaz MP

Valerie Vaz MP has congratulated pupils at Queen Mary’s Grammar School in Walsall on their near Space Program which uses a 434 MHz downlink.

Valerie said:

“Pupils at Queen Mary’s Grammar School in my constituency are attempting to beat the altitude achieved by Felix Baumgartner, who skydived from 39,045m, for a fraction of the cost with their own atmospheric probes.”

“The initiative shown by this group of student to design and build the probes and computer systems, while at the same time raising money for the project through sponsorship is commendable.”

“The Beat Felix Team’s first probe, ‘Gagarin’, reached an altitude of 35,118m and was only 3,927m short of their goal. They are now concentrating on their final two probes, ‘Armstrong’ and ‘Hadfield’, which are both set to launch within the next month. I wish the whole team the best of luck and hope they reach their goal.”

More information on Queen Mary’s Grammar School’s ‘Beat Felix’ project can be found here: http://horizon.qmgs.walsall.sch.uk/

Surrey EARS make newspaper front page

Surrey EARS in Surrey Advertiser May 16

Surrey EARS in Surrey Advertiser May 16, 2014

The Surrey Electronics and Amateur Radio Society (EARS) 434 MHz balloon flight was the top news story on the front page of the Surrey Advertiser newspaper.

On Sunday, May 4, the Surrey EARS team launched a High Altitude Balloon from Cambridgeshire carrying University of Surrey mascot Stevie Stag. The balloon had a flight time of around three hours, reached almost 100,000 feet and travelled just over 70 miles including a portion of the ascent right over the city of Cambridge. The transmissions from the balloon on 434 MHz were received in the UK, France, Netherlands and Germany.

After the launch EARS auctioned Stevie Stag, the only Stag to fly to the edge of space, on eBay to raise money for the mental health charity Mind.

Read the story Space traveling stag auctioned for more than £200
http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/local-news/university-surrey-mascot-stevie-stag-7115040

Watch Stevie Stag Goes to Space! High Altitude Balloon Flight Video

Surrey EARS on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/surreyEARS

Solar powered 434 MHz balloon reaches Syria

Track of the B-44 balloon taken on April 10, 214, two days after launch

Track of the B-44 balloon taken on April 10, 214, two days after launch

On Tuesday, April 8, 2014 radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER launched two foil “party” pico balloons from Silverstone with solar powered payloads transmitting on 434.500 MHz USB using the Contestia 8/1000 data mode. By Thursday, April 10 one of the balloons, B-44, was reported to be over Syria.

Typical pico balloon with tiny solar powered 434 MHz transmitter - Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Typical pico balloon with tiny solar powered 434 MHz transmitter – Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Depending on altitude the balloons could have a range of 300-500 km and remain aloft for several days.

Balloons: 90cm Qualatex foil party balloon
Payloads: 12 grams solar powered tracker
Telemetry: 434.500 MHz, USB, vertical polarisation, Contestia 8/1000
B-44 is 1500Hz higher than B-43 so it should be possible to see both in the same audio bandwidth.

These balloons use digital mode “Contestia 8/1000″. Unfortunately it is not possible to automatically configure this mode in dl-fldigi. Therefore please follow this procedure:
• Autoconfigure B-43 or B-44 flight as usual.  This will default to DOMX 16 mode.
• Select menu option  Op Mode -> Contestia ->  8/1000.  The bottom left corner of dl-fldigi should now read CTSTIA 8/1000
• Enable RxID button at the top right corner of dl-fldigi.

Downlink data contains two lines of telemetry every 4 minutes.Time between telemetry data is filled with beeps at 3 sec intervals.

Leo says “I appreciate help of everybody who joins in for tracking!”

Typical solar powered 434 MHz transmitter - Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Typical solar powered 434 MHz transmitter – Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Leo Bodnar M0XER balloons http://www.leobodnar.com/balloons/

You can see online real time tracks and frequencies of balloons at http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Download the dl-fldigi software from http://ukhas.org.uk/projects:dl-fldigi

Listen to balloons online (when in range of south-east UK) from anywhere in the world with the SUWS 434 MHz WebSDR (select USB) http://amsat-uk.org/2013/12/28/websdr-for-434-and-1296-mhz/

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide

Check the #highaltitude IRC channel for chat about launches. A web client is available at
http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address: ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Track of B-44 and B-45 balloons on April 19, 2014

Track of B-44 and B-45 balloons on April 19, 2014

434.300 MHz balloon to launch from Danbury

Chris Stubs M6EDF with 434 MHz trackers

Chris Stubs M6EDF with 434 MHz trackers

On Saturday, March 29, at around 10:00 GMT Chris Stubbs M6EDF will be launching a balloon CHEAPO carrying a payload transmitting 50 bps 7n2 RTTY on 434.300 MHz USB.

Chris gave a well received presentation on high altitude balloons at a recent Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) Skills Workshop. His latest launch will take place from Danbury Common at around 10 AM on Saturday, March 29.

The forecast looks like the balloon will take a scenic path along the east coast of England before being lost forever over Scotland, see http://ready.arl.noaa.gov/hypubout/184444_trj001.gif

The balloon could have a radio range of 300-500 km depending on altitude.

There should be a number of other balloons transmitting between 434.050 and 434.575 MHz also launching on Saturday.

Predicted track for CHEAPO launch on March 29, 2014

Predicted track for CHEAPO balloon on March 29, 2014

You can see online real time tracks and frequencies of all the balloons at
http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Listen to the balloons online from anywhere in the world with the SUWS 434 MHz WebSDR (select USB)
http://amsat-uk.org/2013/12/28/websdr-for-434-and-1296-mhz/

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi
http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide

Free iPhone balloon tracker HABHub can be downloaded from iTunes store https://itunes.apple.com/nl/app/habhub/id737310999?l=en&mt=8

Check the #highaltitude IRC channel for chat about launches. A web client is available at
http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address: ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Chris Stubbs M6EDF http://chris-stubbs.co.uk/

The CARS amateur radio skills workshops are held on the 3rd Monday of each month at the Danbury Village Hall, CM3 4NQ. The Skills Workshops are open to all, and there’s no charge for attending. For details, and to sign up for email updates, see
http://www.hamskills.co.uk/

To find out more about amateur radio and the Chelmsford training courses speak to Clive G1EUC on
Tel: 01245-224577
Mob: 07860-418835
Email: training2014 at g0mwt.org.uk
Web: http://www.g0mwt.org.uk/training/

What is Amateur Radio ? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

434 MHz XABEN and other balloon launches go ahead today

High altitude balloon 434 MHz trackers made by Chris M6EDF

High altitude balloon 434 MHz trackers made by Chris M6EDF

Steve G8KHW planned to launch five balloons XABEN64-68 carrying 434 MHz payloads from Elsworth on Wednesday, March 12. The permit for them arrived at the last minute on Wednesday morning. Technically the flights need a permit despite being 100g balloons as they are on a line rather than mounted in the neck.

The balloons may have a range of 200-500 km so should be receivable on a SSB (USB) radio over much of the UK or can be received World-Wide using the SUWS WebSDR

Steve says: The plan is to launch 5 identical payloads on 5 identical 100g balloons as near identically filled as I can manage in order to see the sort of spread of burst altitudes. The balloons will be launched as quick as I can fill them and launch them – so its likely that all 5 balloons will be in the air at the same time.

With all those flights I’m going to need some help tracking them – so lots of listeners would be appreciated. Callsigns and Frequencies to follow on the UKHAS Mailing List – but all will be on 434 MHz with standard 50 Baud 470 Hz 7N1 RTTY.

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon - Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon – Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI

XABEN64-68 Callsigns and Frequencies (USB):
– uX3 434.250
– uX0 434.350
– uX1 434.400
– uX2 434.450
// skipping 434.500 to avoid BALYOLO
– uX5 435.550

There should be a launch from Westcott, Buckinghamshire on Wednesday at 12.00 Callsign: BALYOLO Frequency 434.500 MHz.

Project Ascend are launching Wednesday at 0900 from Cockermouth,Cumbria. They say please listen out for us on 434.450 MHz USB,  Callsign HAB55331. Further information at http://projectascend.co.uk/

Dave Akerman M6RPI/M0RPI says he’s planning to launch at around 2pm on Thursday, it’ll be a regular payload up-burst-down, probably with 2 trackers. The launch will take place from the field behind Dave’s new house just north of Ross-On-Wye, so receivers in the west of England will be particularly welcome. No SSDV just 50 baud RTTY telemetry. There will be live video streaming of the launch and chase at http://www.batc.tv/streams/m0rpi_chase

The two payloads are BUZZ and ZURG.  Both 50 baud 7 bits no parity 2 stop bits, 480Hz shift. BUZZ is on 434.600 MHz and ZURG on 434.650 MHz.  Former is an rfm22b and latter an NTX2 so they will drift somewhat.

On Thursday, March 13 Adam Cudworth will be launching HABE 12 from Worcestershire on 434.200 MHz.

James Coxon M6JCX launching a PICO balloon on 434.301 MHz USB

James Coxon M6JCX launching a PICO balloon on 434.301 MHz USB

Check the IRC channel for chat about the launches on irc.freenode.net #highaltitude
A web client is available at http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude

Online real-time tracking of balloons
http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Listen to the balloons online using the Southampton University Wireless Society (SUWS) 434 MHz WebSDR located near Basingstoke (51.294N, 1.131W)
http://amsat-uk.org/2013/12/28/websdr-for-434-and-1296-mhz/

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi software
http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address: ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

‘Travel’ to Space for £40 / $70

VR2Space Payload Module

VR2Space Payload Module

Researchers from the Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey have launched a unique campaign that will enable the public to ‘travel’ to space for the cost of a pair of trainers.

VR2Space BalloonVirtual Ride to Space will use cutting-edge virtual technology and a specially designed spacecraft to deliver a three-dimensional, immersive experience, allowing everyone to see what astronauts experience on an ascent to space.

The experience will be created by capturing HD footage of space, via a weather balloon which will carry a cluster of twenty-four HD video cameras to a height of 20km – twice the height of a commercial airplane. During ascent these cameras will capture panoramic footage of the balloon’s journey to space.

Following the flight, specialised software will stitch this footage together to recreate a panoramic view of the space trip. The subsequent space ride will then be viewed using Oculus Rift, a state-of-the-art virtual reality, head-mounted display. The system is designed to deliver high definition 3D virtual environments that can be explored by the wearer, as if they are in space  themselves.

The £30,000 project will be funded by public contributions through the crowd-sourcing funding platform, Kickstarter.

Surrey Space Centre University of Surrey, Guildford

Surrey Space Centre
University of Surrey, Guildford

“Only 530 people have ever travelled to space. For most of us it’s a distant and very expensive dream but this project is about enabling the remaining 99.999992% to see the world like never before,” said lead researcher Dr Aaron Knoll from the University of Surrey.

“Ride to Space will give all aspiring astronauts the chance to be a virtual passenger, riding the balloon to space, and unlike other Galactic flights, it won’t cost the earth to be on board!”

The project team are also developing a smartphone application that will allow users to experience the journey using the phones’ built-in gyroscope and accelerometer data, as well as a computer programme that will allow users to experience space via their PCs.

Investment for Virtual Ride to Space is being sought via Kickstarter. Please visit the Virtual Ride to Space page for more information.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1592839372/virtual-ride-to-space-using-the-oculus-rift

Channel 5 Gadget Show
http://gadgetshow.channel5.com/gadget-show/gadget-news/travel-to-space-with-the-oculus-rift

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/VR2Space

The Bring Your Own Board BYOB CubeSat Workshop and the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium take place in Guildford, Surrey on July 25-27, see http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/