Launch of Spaceblimp-3, 13 November 2010.

I got up rather earlier than usual last Saturday morning (0600 EST5EDT) to get ready for another Spaceblimp launch by HacDC, this time from a location in semi-rural Maryland. I had just enough time to get Windbringer prepped, my doctor's bag packed, and the rest of the stuff I wanted to keep close by into my backpack when I got a phone call from Bjorn in the parking lot outside my apartment building, who would be driving the chase car this time around. We met up with Nick (who rode shotgun in the TARDIS last time) and then struck out …

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Spaceblimp-3 launch in T-11 hours, 33 minutes.

HacDC will be launching Spaceblimp-3 from Maryland tomorrow morning. You'll be able to follow its progress on Twitter, or you can watch the balloon's positional telemetry on aprs.fi as long as it's in the air. If you'll be out and about (or you're just allergic to Twitter) but want to keep track of the balloon, text the words "Follow hacdcspaceblimp" to phone number 40404 and you'll receive text messages with periodic status reports.

Spaceblimp-1 recovered after 75 days; photographs online!

Back in August of 2010 HacDC launched a prototype near-space probe, designated Spaceblimp-1 in preparation for entering the Hackerspaces In Space competition run by Workshop 88. Unfortunately we lost contact with Spaceblimp-1 a few hours after launch and were unable to locate the instrument package that day.

Sometime yesterday afternoon, one of the members of the Spaceblimp team received an interesting phone call. By all accounts it seemed that Spaceblimp-1 had been found but the labels on the housing were somewhat damaged, so the finder had mis-dialed one of the numbers. The individual who was called, one Bob Dehn, found …

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The results are in for the Hackerspaces In Space Competition.

Official word has just come down the wire about HacDC's entry for the Hackerspaces In Space competition. The HacDC Spaceblimp unfortunately didn't place in the top five. The weight of the near-space probe was 1.81 pounds (well under the limit) and was retrieved the day of the judged launch in just 93 minutes. However, the project went over budget by $70us, which kept the Spaceblimp out of the winner's circle by scoring only 70 points.

We're not done yet, though. There will likely be another competition next year, and there are plans afoot for launching a new Spaceblimp …

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