ST. PETER’S SPACE PROGRAMME: MISSION TO THE STRATOSPHERE

By Joan Mauri, Robotics and AI teacher

LAUNCHING A HIGH ALTITUDE BALLOON 

When imagining a Space Programme, we think of Elon Musk from Space X and the Nasa team of astronauts or engineers. This year we have proven that we can also launch a Space Programme at St. Peter’s School, with the collaboration of a group of motivated students in Year 10, 5 and 4; highly professional support from the company Everis, and our Robotics & AI teacher, Mr. Mauri. 

The challenge was to design and launch a high altitude balloon, expected to fly for 90 minutes, travelling a distance of 100 km and reaching an altitude of 27 km, right into the stratosphere.

The team needed a wide knowledge of electronics that included Raspberry Pi and Arduino. Additionally, they needed knowledge on electronic hardware with cameras and GPS (coordination, communication), and scientific experiments that were to be included in the thermal box that would be attached to the balloon and to a parachute. It looked like a complex challenge at the beginning. However, with the enthusiasm and hard work of everyone involved, the balloon will be launched next week. 

This is the schematics of the Mission:

We will be collecting a wide range of data from a set of experiments contained inside the thermal box. The box will eventually land and our team will collect it after identifying the exact place it hits the ground. As an additional prize, we expect to take some amazing pictures and videos of the earth’s curvature. If you wish to follow it live, you can join us at: https://streamyard.com/fm5hsixkxt