Balloon Launch

In 2012, Tualatin Robotics was privileged with the opportunity to join Portland State University to participate in their annual weather balloon launch.

On October 12, at 7AM, we launched a high altitude weather balloon from Tualatin High School.
KATU.COM Oct 10, 2012 Story

Our task was to come up with equipment and media coverage to make this event big. Tualatin Robotics was allotted a 4 lbs weight capacity, to install cameras and recording equipment to capture the entire journey. Our primary goal was to take photos and record the experience, showcasing how students, mentors and FIRST can work together to achieve hands-on and future career experience.

The Oregonian Story, Oct 12 2012

Tualatin Robotics Balloon Launch Update 10-12-12

We lost contact with the balloon about 5000 meters off ground when the primary GPS began to malfunction. The predicted landing was about 10 miles NE of Condon, Oregon off highway 206. We searched throughout the weekend with no luck. The local media has picked up the story and we’re hoping they help us find it.

Tualatin Robotics Balloon Launch Update 10-19-12

At this point in time we have not received any coordinates pertaining to the Balloons location. However, hope is not lost! This weekend a ground team will head out to Condon to search the remaining areas. Team mentor Gary Albert has also done some aerial reconnaissance on the search area and we are eager to here back from his flight. Hopefully, we’ll have some good news to bring you these next couple weeks!

The Oregonian Balloon Update, Oct 26 2012

Tualatin Robotics Balloon Launch Update 10-26-12

We found the balloon… not the package. Read the Search report here: Search Report

Tualatin Robotics Balloon Launch Update 10-31-12

The biggest miracle just occurred. Our package has been called in!!! Chris Fitzsimmons from Gilliam County Sheriffs office called in to KATU news immediately following the 5:00 news segment. According to her, the camera rig was called in on Oct. 12th after it was sighted on the side of highway 206 halfway between Hepner and Condon. A deputy from the Sheriffs Office picked it up and cast the balloon to the side of the road. Everything makes sense now. So it won’t be too long before we get our hands on the images! A special thanks to KGW, The Times, The Oregonian, and especially KATU news for helping us recover our camera’s! These news sources did a tremendous job in getting the word out. Without them we’d still be searching ebay and craigslist for our camera’s!

KATU drove out to Condon to retrieve our package and brought it back to our school. Thank you KATU! Here is their news story about our project.

Information about LaunchPSU
LEO-LPSU is a collaborative high altitude balloon launch effort to conduct outreach/educational/recreational launches with and for the general public. Led by Pete Levno (BSME PSU), Chris (Soup Man) and Guy Lewis who have participated in previous LPSU launches, LEO (Low Earth Orbiter) has conducted 2 launches at Champoeg Park during a Geocache gathering under the auspices of LPSU. LPSU provides certain launch equipment and heckling, but can’t avoid getting wrapped up in the drama. In general, about 150 people participate in the Geocache event each year and the launch, track, and chase process attract various folks who somehow get this whole thing in their blood. It happens.

For more information about PSU and the launch: Click Here