High Altitude Ballooning Hack Chat

To the edge of space and beyond, on the cheap.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 12:00 am PST Local time zone:
Hack Chat
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The Cope Brothers, Jeremy and Jason, will be hosting the Hack Chat on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at noon PST.

Time zones got you down? Here's a handy time converter!

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Jeremy and Jason Cope have only recently caught the high-altitude ballooning (HAB) bug, but they've been racking up the successes and pushing the edge of space with interesting and varied missions.  

Their first flight just barely missed the 100,000 foot (30,000 meter) mark and carried a simple payload package of cameras and GPS instruments and allowed them to reach their goal of photographing the Earth's curvature. 

Flight 2 had a similar payload but managed to blow through the 100K foot altitude, capturing stunning video of the weather balloon breaking. Their most recent flight carried a more complex payload package, consisting of the usual camera and GPS but also a flight data recorder of their own devising, as well as a pair of particle detectors to measure the change in flux of subatomic particles with increasing altitude. That flight "only" reached 62,000 ft (19,000 meters) but managed to hitch a ride on the jet stream that nearly took the package out to sea.

The Cope brothers will be joining the Hack Chat to talk about the exciting field of DIY high-altitude ballooning and the challenges of getting a package halfway to space (depending on how that's defined). Please join us as we discuss:

  • The basics of flight - balloons, rigging, payload protection, tracking, and recovery;
  • Getting started on the cheap;
  • Making a flight into a mission with interesting and innovative ideas for payload instrumentation; 
  • Will hobbyist HABs ever break the Kármán Line? and
  • What's in store for this year's Global Space balloon Challenge?

  • High-Altitude Ballooning Hack Chat Transcript

    Dan Maloney02/06/2019 at 21:10 0 comments

    11:39 AM
    how doable would it be to balloon a set of mini rockets, then right before balloon pops, ignite the rockets and send small robots to the moon, no?

    Jan11:39 AM
    I'm still searching for a way to upload csv files via upload form and then displaying them via dygraphs. but uploading files via form of course is not a jekyll/github thing

    Jarrett11:39 AM
    though tbf, I think it was entirely mysql that shit the bed a couple days ago and is the reason I have to reinstall, and also causing me installation grief again

    -= Wolf =-11:39 AM
    you would save the fuel/weight needed to get to stratosphere

    anfractuosity11:40 AM


    Rockoon - Wikipedia

    A rockoon (from and ) is a solid fuel sounding rocket that, rather than being immediately lit while on the ground, is first carried into the upper atmosphere by a gas-filled balloon, then separated from the balloon and ignited.

    Read this on Wikipedia

    Jarrett11:40 AM
    that's a good question, wolf, you should ask it on the event page so it gets asked by the moderator

    JImmyMoe11:40 AM
    Ok, I know you all get sick of me talking about this but I am subscribed to one of the best Online Security Newsletters in the business called HackerNews and I keep seeing these types of articles on almost a Quarterly basis. Last time Jan 2018 I posted something like this I was challenged and told that WordPress had "Just" upgraded with a new version of their product that just got out of months of testing. I predicted it would be hacked in 3 months and no less than a week later it was hacked. There HAVE been other hacks and issues since and here is the latest! See:

    -= Wolf =-11:40 AM
    lol, Rockoon

    Jarrett11:41 AM
    ehhh, everything has security flaws that get discovered, wordpress just has a huuuge attack surface and is very high profile

    -= Wolf =-11:41 AM
    I think is doable, we could send cube sats extremely cheap, and small moon missions carrying small rovers for exploration and research as well

    Jarrett11:42 AM
    as long as you stay on top of wordpress updates, it's safe

    Jarrett11:42 AM
    many people don't, though :)

    JImmyMoe11:42 AM
    Back to the High Altitude thing... I'm having trouble finding a source for Balloons at a reasonable price. I used to have a source for Military Weather Balloons but that dried up and online pricing sucks on ice..

    Morning.Star11:42 AM


    Jarrett11:42 AM
    have you checked out Aliexpress?

    anfractuosity11:42 AM
    @JImmyMoe what country are you in?

    Jeremy joined  the room.11:42 AM

    Jarrett11:42 AM
    I think I recall some decent ones for $100 or $200 or so

    Jarrett11:43 AM
    although asking about sources is something good to write on the event page

    JImmyMoe11:43 AM
    Ya' Seriously Jarrett, No Lie the last WordPress Site I was asked to work on was 72 updates behind.. For Freaking REAL!

    -= Wolf =-11:43 AM
    why don't you set it to auto update?

    Dan Maloney11:43 AM
    @JImmyMoe - that's a great question for the Hack Chat. Please ask Jeremy and Jason when we start.

    JImmyMoe11:44 AM
    Wolf, It wasn't my problem until I was asked to look at it.

    JImmyMoe11:45 AM
    anfractuosity, I'm in the State of Wisconsin in the USA.

    anfractuosity11:46 AM
    ah, was gonna mention but that's not gonna help you

    JImmyMoe11:46 AM
    Jarrett. Yup, If you have a source for better priced Weather Balloons Let me know. What size where those?

    JImmyMoe11:46 AM
    MOrning Star... Just Subscribed to your Tangerine Dream YouTube Thingy..

    Jason Cope joined  the room.11:47 AM

    JImmyMoe11:48 AM
    anfractuosity, I bookmarked it and I'll look...

    Read more »

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