Sunday, September 21, 2014

Thank you so much to everyone in New York, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts who supported us in this project. We successfully sent two weather balloons to near space, captured incredible photographs showing the curvature of the earth, and gathered data displaying radiation peaks in the upper atmosphere. We won first place in the Champlain Valley Regional Science Fair in April and won $700, $200 of which we donated to the Rainforest Action Network.

Javier is now attending SUNY at Buffalo studying mechanical engineering with a focus in aerospace engineering. Throughout this 8-month-long project, he designed the thermal optimization system, operated the Geiger Counter software, and ensured that we were in compliance with FAA regulations. 

Thank you to the Keene Sentinel for supporting our project by posting three articles about us and encouraging the people of New Hampshire to help us find our lost balloon.

They also wrote about our disappointing trip to New Hampshire to recover a false alarm that was in fact a radiosonde belonging to the National Weather Service.

It took 8 months, but we finally recovered the data we were looking for. Though it isn't the prettiest data, it showed the trend we hypothesized a long year ago. As the balloon's altitude increased, the radiation levels generally increased, until approximately 20000m, the point at which the balloon had crossed the majority of Earth's ozone layer.


We would like to thank the following people: 
Tom and Kate Messner for allowing us to borrow their van and for funding 30% of this project
SPOT LLC. For offering us a science project discount on GPS softare
Ms. Patel-Dame for enduring our countless questions about conditions in the upper atmosphere
MIT and NASA for inspiring us to embark on this project
Ms. Patel-Dame and Mr. Mousseau for serving on our safety review committee 
Eugene Sokolovsky for recovering our balloon and payload from 60 ft high in a Massachusetts tree
The people of Hubbardston, MA for supplying us with equipment to recover our payload

Burns family for generously allowing us to stay at their house when we were unable to recover our payload before dark