As a tribute to Phil, we plan to send some of his ashes to the edge of space and scatter them above the atmosphere early in 2018.
Using a high altitude weather balloon, we plan to send a payload containing 3 cameras, a GPS tracking device, a radio transmitter and photos of Phil. Phil's ashes will be inside the balloon itself.
The balloon should reach a maximum altitude of 25 to 45 kilometres. As the outside pressure decreases during ascent, the balloon will expand - eventually bursting and scattering Phil's ashes high above us.
From this altitude we should see the thin blue line of the atmosphere against the blackness of space and, if we get over 35km, the curvature of the earth.
Once the balloon has exploded, the payload containing the cameras, tracker and transmitter will descend back to earth on a parachute. We plan to recover this payload using the tracking device. We'll then upload the high-definition video from the payload for all of us to enjoy.
As insurance against the payload being lost by landing somewhere inaccessible or through technical failure, the radio transmitter will beam still images to the ground throughout the flight. Either way, Phil gets into the stratosphere!
£700 buys us: a weather balloon, helium gas, parachute, payload container, flight computer, GPS tracker and radio transmitter, raspberry pi computers and cameras, SD cards to store video and photographs and low-temperature rated batteries.
As we have now hit our £700 balloon launch target, the extra cash will now go to St Peter & St James Hospice to help support their vital work.
We encourage Phil's friends to participate and spectate on the day, either in person or from the comfort of their PC, tablet or smartphone. Final details of date and location will be decided once we have the necessary funds, permission from the Civil Aviation Authority and have checked weather reports nearer the time.
I plan an extensive testing phase of up to a couple of months after building the payload and before launching to maximise our chances of a successful mission.
Keep your donations coming and keep sharing this page as we're on course to give Phil a great tribute and really help those amazing folks at the hospice!
Thanks gang. Love Nathan x
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