Space Balloon Launch! PocketFinder On Board!

Posted on: March 13th, 2012 by Admin

PocketFinder is excited to help sponsor two devices for Forestview Middle School’s “High Altitude Balloon Launch” located in North Central Minnesota. The class consists of 4 instructors and 13 students from 7th and 8th grade. While only 13 were chosen to be a part of this amazing opportunity, the invitation to apply was extended to all students.

Designing Payload

After the team was chosen, the class became busy designing a payload (made out of 2 inch pink insulation that is glued together) attached to a 600g helium balloon that will journey up into space, pop, then return back to earth. We are excited for this project as this will be the first time that a PocketFinder device will journey to and from space!

The balloon is projected to reach 80,000 feet above the earth, popping in the range of 80,000-90,000 feet. The GPS coordinates of the payload is just the start. There will be a camera on board taking pictures every minute of the journey into the Stratosphere!

Pictures and Retrieval

Mr. Reed, the classroom teacher and project coordinator, hopes for clear skies. If the weather permits there is a possibility to have pictures of Lake Superior and even Lake Michigan taken as the balloon goes up into the air. Once the payload comes down from space to earth, the kids will be able to retrieve the payload based on the last coordinates. Inside the payload will be the camera, a RTrack-HAB (main GPS device), and a PocketFinder!

The PocketFinder GPS Locator’s main role will be to enhance the community involvement. “This little guy is amazing” said class instructor and project coordinator Jim Reed. “We are excited to use the PocketFinder App to involve anyone who wants to follow us”. Students, parents, teachers, kids and surrounding community members can if to follow its journey two ways.

Locate Along with the Class

Go to the website: click “Login” on the top right corner. Or download the free PocketFinder App to your iPhone or iPad and “Login” using the projects name and password.

User Name: FSMBalloon1
Password: password

The launch is scheduled to be March 24th at 9am. Below are some pictures of the class sent by Mr. Reed. If you would like to know more details about this balloon project, please visit their site at

Follow us for updates on the project follow us on Facebook and Twitter!