User avatar
Jim Manley
Posts: 1600
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:41 pm
Location: SillyCon Valley, California, and Powell, Wyoming, USA, plus The Universe
Contact: Website

Re: sending my pi into space

Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:04 pm

I will be going down to NASA Dryden near Palmdale, CA, in July to supervise launching of rockets with engines up to M4 class that can reach 70 - 100 Kfeet, depending on the payload. The sensor, navigation, computing, and comms payloads have been developed by high school students supervised by engineers as part of NASA's Small Satellites for Secondary Students (S4) program. The satellites part of the program go up on final stage boosters putting real satellites into orbit and what we're doing is one of the steps students take en route the small satellite lofting.

In addition to the expensive challenges noted by others above, doing high-altitude launches requires navigating a regulatory maze that takes the better part of a year to complete. Part of that is prepping, getting approved, and disseminating things like Notices to Airmen warning of these kinds of operations. The days of launching stuff vertically without any care went away once the chaps with names like Montgolfier and Wright started going airborne. Certifications for launches of increasing complexity have to be earned based on demonstrated knowledge and practice of numerous safety protocols, not the least of which is how to get those Notices to Airmen issued. As a fixed-wing and rotary-wing pilot whose continued life depends on the inconvenience of things like those Notices to Airmen, I don't appreciate hearing things such as, "Throw caution to the wind and launch that thing!" and "But since nobody is actually going to die when it crashes and burns... what the hell give it a go."

There's a lot more that we need to teach the knowledge-challenged about STEM than just the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics aspects. The just-as-important STEM topics of scruples, technocracy, economics, and management also need to be passed down to those we olde fogies leave behind.
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- W.B. Yeats
In theory, theory & practice are the same - in practice, they aren't!!!

Posts: 2789
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:46 pm
Location: UK
Contact: Website

Re: sending my pi into space

Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:12 pm

Seriously, though here's Dave Akerman's 39km high flying Raspberry Pi with camera:

Android app - Raspi Card Imager - download and image SD cards - No PC required !

Posts: 13898
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: sending my pi into space

Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:34 pm

Dave's high altitude ballon project is inspirational.

However a Pi in a weather ballon is a whole different thing to launching a rocket into space as described by our opening poster.

A rocket will be a hell of a lot more dangerous.

Regulations for ballon flights are much more relaxed:
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

Posts: 1956
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:01 pm
Location: UK

Re: sending my pi into space

Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:29 pm

For anyone thinking about a small, sub-orbital rocket, just look at these photos of a small rocket launched a few weeks ago (it was a solar camera experiment):

Note the after landing photos. Do you fancy the lawyer's fees involved when that thing comes back down? :o

User avatar
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:54 am
Location: Worthing, UK
Contact: Website

Re: sending my pi into space

Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:36 pm

This is the funniest topic i've read here. pmsl :lol: :roll:
Pi Pi Pi...

Return to “General discussion”