SP9UOB-P39 (or ballooning around the world)

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In summary, Tom, a Facebook friend, has been launching small balloons with GPS trackers and APRS radios from his backyard, in accordance with legal regulations. His most recent launch, SP9UOB-P39, is currently traveling on the jet stream and is expected to complete its second loop around the world in a few days. Previous models have had varying levels of success, with some failing quickly due to UV damage in the stratosphere. Tomasz, the creator, does not have a complete history of the project to share, but he did take a picture of earlier tracker models he designed and made. This project has caught the attention of the speaker, who wonders if Tom posts about it on flat-earther sites.
  • #1
A week or two ago I posted in one of the threads about a friend of mine (well, fb friend, we don't know each other in person) who takes small balloons, fills them with helium, attaches a pretty small (in the 5 grams range) GPS tracker with solar panels and APRS radio and launches them from his backyard. Before you ask: all in accordance with legal regulations.

SP9UOB-P39 (P39 stands for Pico 39, it is 39th launch/model) leaves US space now. For the second time. In few days it should close second loop around the world.


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  • #2
Traveling on the jet stream? What happened with the previous 38?
  • #3
Astronuc said:
Traveling on the jet stream? What happened with the previous 38?

Yes, jet streams.

I don't know exact numbers. Some failed quite fast, some made it around the Earth more than once. Earlier models were much heavier and they were not able to survive for long. High up in the stratosphere UV destroys the plastic, so they loose helium and slowly drop down, at some point they fail to send another data packet - and that's all Tom knows.
  • #4
As of today Pico 39 is again over Japan. Tomasz doesn't have a ready history of the project to share, but about two years ago he took a picture of earlier tracker models he designed and made (these are not all models, older ones are on the left):

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  • #6
That is the coolest thing I have seen in a long time. Maybe ever.

Does he post to the flat-earthers sites? ha ha
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Related to SP9UOB-P39 (or ballooning around the world)

1. What is SP9UOB-P39?

SP9UOB-P39 is a high-altitude balloon designed and launched by a team of scientists and engineers to travel around the world.

2. How does SP9UOB-P39 stay aloft?

SP9UOB-P39 stays aloft by using a combination of helium and solar panels. The helium provides lift, while the solar panels power the systems on board.

3. How long does it take for SP9UOB-P39 to circle the globe?

The time it takes for SP9UOB-P39 to circle the globe can vary, but on average it takes between 3-6 weeks. This depends on weather conditions and the speed of the wind currents.

4. What is the purpose of SP9UOB-P39?

The purpose of SP9UOB-P39 is to collect data and conduct experiments at high altitudes and to showcase the capabilities of high-altitude balloons for scientific research and exploration.

5. How is SP9UOB-P39 controlled and monitored?

SP9UOB-P39 is controlled and monitored through a combination of ground stations and satellite communication. The ground stations track the balloon's location and send commands to adjust its altitude and direction, while the satellite communication allows for data to be transmitted back to scientists on the ground.

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