Sending Astro Duck to the edge of space
The University of York Astronomy Society has been planning an event like no other at this University. In an age where regular people are able to travel across the globe in a matter of hours, we have set ourselves a task that brings us to the edge of space.
So when you think of innovation - Think York. Be a part of 'Astroduck'!
We will be very grateful for your support!
- About the project
Our heroic mascot, AstroDuck will be elevated to the dizzying heights of the upper atmosphere in the safety of a professional weather balloon, before returning back to Earth via parachute with a veritable horde of scientific data and mesmerising footage from the inbuilt GoPro camera. The whole event will be captured on film in our Duckumentary!
- Why is it important?
We are hoping to acquire some valuable footage and usable scientific data for the Department of Physics and our Society to analyse and present at a later date. Data collected using the blackbox (that will be accompanying Astroduck on the flight) includes the altitude of the balloon, the temperature, the air pressure and even the magnetometry. This means that by combining this with the footage from a GoPro camera, we can effectively analyse the flight in great detail from launch to landing. We are also hoping to give AstroDuck the experience necessary for further launches into deep space!
What do we need money for?
To make the Astroduck project a reality, we need YOUR help! For the safe trip of our Astroduck we will require:
- Equipment: GoPro Camera, GPS trackers, blackbox, payload box
- A parachute for a soft landing
- A weather balloon
- Bare Minimum package (£540)
With £540, we will have enough money for the main launch. This includes a medium weather balloon capable to reach the edge of our atmosphere, the helium along with it, a parachute (so that we can safely recover the payload), a blackbox (to collect all sorts of data from our upper atmosphere) and a GoPro camera, which will enable high quality video footage to be taken throughout the balloon's flight.
- Upgraded balloon ( £640)
If we raise £640 however, we will be able to have an even larger balloon. This will enable the flight to travel even further and much higher, enabling even more data and footage to be acquired.
- The Largest balloon ( £700)
Raising about £700 would enable us to purchase the largest balloon available, meaning the flight could potentially travel 38km high - the height in which Felix Baumgartner famously jumped from.
- Practice balloon ( £770)
If we are successful in raising enough money for the largest balloon, and therefore enabling our flight to be as successful as possible, then we will then want to raise some money for a practice balloon. By raising an additional £70, we will be able to purchase a smaller weather balloon, allowing us to gain experience in launching a weather balloon and ensuring the main launch will go as successfully as possible.
- A Second Flight ( £860)
Since the majority of the items we'll be purchasing will be reusable, an extra £90 (bringing the total to about £860) is all that'd be required for us to carry out a second flight on a similar scale to the main one, doubling the data and footage we'll collect during the experiment.
- Helium (~£100)
Since the amount of helium we need is dependent on how many balloons we end up getting (which in turn is dependent upon how much money we raise) an estimated amount of £100 for the helium required is set. Since the helium is an integral part of the project, we need to ensure we'll definitely have enough to carry out the balloon flight(s).
We've devised some really cool rewards that will enable you to be part of Astroduck's maiden voyage, and we hope that this will encourage you to make a gift - so please do help and be part of this very York venture!
Money Isn't Everything
- If you can't donate, please do at least share this project on websites such as Facebook. The awareness is what will make this happen!
To keep up to date with the project and AstroSoc's activity, below are links to our relevant social media accounts:
And the actual AstroSoc Facebook group:
Oh, and thank you!
Thank you for donations, spreading awareness, or even just spending your time reading this.
Have you sponsored this project? If so, log in to comment on updates!
With an incredibly generous pledge from Frank Clark, we have now managed to surpass our target - which is absolutely fantastic! Thank you everyone for your support, particularly those that made their generous contributions to the project. We will definitely be able to have two main flights with the two of the largest weather balloons available, which should provided some brilliant footage and data - as well as lots of experience for Astroduck!
We have now reached the minimum requirement for the project to go ahead, which is absolutely fantastic! So thank you to everyone for their pledges and for spreading the word. Without you, this project wouldn't even be close to happening.
The next tier for us to aim for is £640, which will enable us to get a larger balloon and therefore have an even longer flight where Astroduck will travel both higher and further! So to help achieve this target, please share the project on Facebook and Twitter, and make sure you follow @YorkAstroDuck on Twitter for frequent updates!
And again, thank you everyone for your help because now this project will definitely be happening.
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2 anonymous donations totalling £45.50