On May 5, 2001, JP Aerospace conducted a test of the new Dark Sky Station platform. It's called a "station" because it's a prototype for a platform which can carry different kinds of stratospheric (high altitude) research. Once the station is operational, it will begin as a rocket launch platform for an amateur space launch attempt.
Since this was the first flight of the design, we abbreviated the flight "DSS1". I participated in one of the 4x4 recovery teams which tracked, found and recovered the station 75 miles from the launch site.
|Friday, May 4, 2001||Set up camp, rescue Tim and Matt, DSS setup||12|
|Saturday, May 5, 2001||launch and recovery of Dark Sky Station||22|
|Sunday, May 6, 2001||clean up||2|
|JP Aerospace's DSS1 pictures|
|DSS1 in Popular Mechanics' Dec 2001 issue|
The following is a map of the flight path of DSS1. The recovery teams were updated by Ham Radio with the in-flight positions of the station. But once the order was given to the station's computers to cut itself down from the balloons, the recovery teams still had a wide area to search. And they had to maintain radio contact with the Base Camp to avoid having a rescue team sent after them. See the map below for the challenge they faced in finding it.
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Copyright (c) 2001 Ian Kluft