June 2012, the University of Southampton Physics Society (PhySoc) decided to engage schools with a science experiment to see their experiments launched into “space”. Members of the PhySoc Outreach team who undertook the launch then went on to form SUSF. We launched, with the aid of Cambridge University Spaceflight Society (CUSF), from Churchill college and tracked the balloon throughout the duration of it’s flight.
This project hopes to get students excited about practical science and inspire them to study Physics at the University of Southampton. The Physoc Outreach team is run by dedicated Physics undergraduates who are passionate about passing on their enthusiasm for science.
The University of Southampton Physics Society Outreach Project:
School children put their experiments into table-tennis balls which were then launched on a balloon with a tracker designed by Matthew Brejza, a member of the Southampton University ASTRA Initiative.
The payload also included cameras loaded with CHDK software to take pictures on the way up. As a group, we saw this as a brilliant time to also launch some of our own personal hobbies up and so a Minecraft “Creeper” and chest were launched.
The balloon burst early due to a bad balloon and reached a maximum altitude of 23km! It then descended and landed in a field where after, quite a lot of searching, we found everything still intact and still taking photos!
Chris Frohmaier, Committee Chairman
Ben Oxley, Lead Engineer
Matthew Brejza, Electronics Engineer