Balloon Launch SC006

July 15, 2010

SC State University, Orangeburg, South Carolina

The culminating event of the Earth and Space Science Teacher Workshop took place on Thursday, July 15, 2010, with the preparation, launch and tracking of Balloon Flight SC006. The student and teacher participants were divided into three teams: Communications Team, Payload Team and Launch Team. Each team had specific duties related to the prep, launch and tracking.




The payload for Balloon Flight SC006 prior to launch. The Styrofoam box with the pink label is the ozonesonde, which measures the amount of ozone in the air. The small attached box to the left is the radiosonde. It measures air temperature, pressure, and relative humidity. Additionally, GPS readings are acquired on the payload that readout the longitude, latitude and altitude of the flight. The Radiosonde is also responsible for transmitting the data via radio transmission to the ground receiver during flight. The probe sticking out of the radiosonde to the left is the device which measures the meteorological quantities.




SC006 was launched at approximately 10:45 EDT. It ascended to a burst altitude of 33 kilometers and then began to descend. During it's descent, the altitude readout began to fluctuate wildly, with values increasing and decreasing suddenly. It is likely the balloon was caught in the up and down drafts of a large thunderhead. At some point the GPS readings ceased, but meteorological readings continued for a short time and then all transmission ended. It is likely the payload was spinning or tumbling in the cloud and unable to acquire the GPS satellites prior to ending its transmission.

Balloon Launch Movie (mov file; 71MB)


Balloon Launch Movie - short version (wmv file; 20MB)


The final countdown and launch of Balloon Flight SC006 on July 15, 2010, from the campus of SC State near Hodge Hall. Student and teacher members of the communications team, payload team and launch team are visible as well as student, faculty and staff spectators.