Grade 8 student to launch balloon to the edge of space with the Canadian Space Agency
Earlier this year, 14-year-old Krishna Nair contacted the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) looking for guidance from experts in the field of stratospheric balloon flights. As part of a school assignment, Krishna developed Project Taurus, which involved the design and launch of a weather balloon. On her first attempt, Krishna could not complete the launch and retrieval of her weather balloon successfully; hence, the CSA is inviting her to try again during the STRATOS campaign held in Timmins, Ontario.
Project Taurus - Synopsis
For my Grade 8 project at the Halton Waldorf School in Burlington, Ontario, I decided to design, construct, and launch a high-altitude balloon to "near space." My project also included recovering the craft by utilizing a parachute. Project Taurus involved significant planning, researching, shopping, building, testing, data collection and flying.
The first launch attempt in ran into some challenges due to the extreme cold, high winds and blowing snow. This test flight taught me the following:
- The amount of helium inside the balloon must be greater than the weight of the payload, and mine was not;
- The helium in the balloon could not expand effectively because of the cold weather; hence the balloon couldn't lift swiftly; and
- Because of the blowing snow, the craft could not rise quickly as it was being pulled sideways.
The way forward
A second launch attempt is scheduled for the summer of in Timmins, Ontario, under the guidance and direction of engineers from the CSA.
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