Saturday, May 4, 2013

To Boldly Go...

Internet research told me there were two ways to go about sending something into space (balloon version).  Number one - assemble all the stuff myself, or - Number 2 - find someone who knew what they were doing.

Most of the people who'd sent high profile projects (The Lego Astronaut, Hello Kitty, etc.)  to 'near space' had gone the "backyard bomber" route, cobbling rigs together by themselves.  While this might be the less expensive method - buying a weather balloon, finding a cheap camera and GPS, etc. - my concern was that I needed to get my payload back.  Getting it up there - no problem.  Getting it back - possibly big problems.

My underlying philosophy was that I was sending the most deserving thing - something that should have gone into space, but had NEVER been sent into space - into space.  I was going to be the first person to send STAR TREK's Enterprise into space - and I needed proof.  I needed to get the videos back.  Otherwise, it was all just talk.

I spoke with my pals at Active Surplus, one of my favorite stores in Toronto and a veritable Alladin's Cave of technical treasures.  Graham, the manager at the Steeles Avenue store suggested that I contact Environment Canada, which I did.  After waiting a considerable amount of time on the phone, I decided to pay a visit to their head office, where I was kept waiting an even more considerable amount of time.  Eventually some staffer came by, took my name and promised to get right back to me.  I'm still waiting.

At this point, I decided to try method Number 2 - Find someone who actually knew what they were doing.  Back to the internet - where I very quickly found High Altitude Science.

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