Students at Summerland Secondary School are preparing to launch a balloon this morning

Students plan balloon launch

If weather conditions cooperate, students at Summerland secondary School will release a balloon on May 2.

If weather conditions cooperate, students at Summerland secondary School will release a balloon on May 2.

During its 2.5-hour flight, the balloon is expected to travel east 100 to 150 kilometres, reaching an altitude of more than 34,000 metres.

Trevor Knowlton, careers teacher at the high school, said the balloon will carry a series of cameras, an aircraft transponder and a spot GPS unit to track its location. It will also have a digital video recorder to record the video and still images from the flight.

Emily Henderson, a Grade 11 student, will coordinate a live broadcast to the McMillan Space Centre in Vancouver while Ryan Varchol, in Grade 12, will coordinate the filming which will be sent to the International Space Station.

Knowlton said around 20 students, from film, broadcast, woodworking, metal work, textiles and art are involved in the balloon project.

Knowlton, along with Principal Chris Van Bergeyk and Vice-Principal Doug MacDonald, are also involved, as is Jack Wrobel, a radio-controlled helicopter expert.

“This is probably the most complex balloon that’s ever gone up,” Knowlton said.

The balloon launch will be coordinated with transport Canada.

In addition, the public can watch live coverage of the flight online at sasaballoon.ca.

Later, the edited video will be posted to the site.

Knowlton got the idea for the balloon project in September, when he was invited to the Canadian Space Agency to attend astronaut Chris Hadfield’s launch.

“It’s a natural thank-you card to Chris Hadfield for what he’s doing,” Knowlton said.

During his time in space, Hadfield is serving as commander of the International Space Station.

When the balloon is launched, Transport Canada will restrict access to the airspace in the balloon’s path.

Once it lands, it all be recovered.

“We’ve carefully put a lot of components into it,” Knowlton said.

 

Just Posted

Princeton man charged in thefts from volunteer fire hall

A Princeton man appeared in circuit court here February 14, facing charges… Continue reading

Plaque at Summerland Skate Park should be reconsidered

Names of all Penny Lane directors will be posted at new facility

LETTER: Stolen bike had been used in health routine

Summerland man used mountain bike for physical exercise to stave off another heart operation

Piles of debris hauled from Summerland rock slide site

Material removed from site would more than fill an Olympic swimming pool

Athletes take to the slopes for the final day of SOBC

Awards ceremony will take place this afternoon at the SilverStar Village Podium.

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

Most Read