stratospheric balloon

Dekuuna, the Elcor and the Rocket Equation

Dekuuna, the elcor homeworld, is notable among other things for its high surface gravity. At 4g and a radius of 10,387 Km, this implies a mass of around 10.5 Earth masses.

This is interesting for several reasons…

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Txch This Week: A New Line On Our Cosmic Address

by Jared Kershner

This week on Txchnologist, we learned how biologist Zhen-Ming Pei and his team discovered a gene called OSCA1 that serves as a thermostat for plants. The gene is the foundation of the plant’s dehydration alarm system, and signals the organism to begin deploying countermeasures to endure the prolonged absence of water. The team believes the gene can be altered to eventually grow crops that are more drought-resistant, which would augment food production in areas where water scarcity plagues the population.

Astronomers are in the final steps of preparing to launch a stratospheric balloon holding an advanced X-ray detector into the atmosphere above New Mexico. The instrument will measure the polarization of a variety of targets – a galaxy, a neutron star, a binary star system, and two black holes. The success of this launch will provide a closer look into the astrophysics of these objects in addition to other fundamental physics governing the universe.

Stanford University researchers reported they have successfully disassembled water molecules into gaseous hydrogen and oxygen with the electromotive force of a single AAA battery, improving on the centuries-old method of the electrolysis of water. With this advance, they may have created a more efficient way to generate hydrogen gas fuel for coming applications in fuel cells for cars and power generation.

Now we’re bringing you the news and trends we’ve been following this week in the world of science, technology and innovation.

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“Sometimes, you have to get up really high to understand how small you are.”

THIS IS A MUST-WATCH! I was captivated back in October 2012 as I watched Felix’s jump live but am blown away by this new GoPro footage. It’s beautiful and at times chilling to see his journey back to Earth from this view.

Felix Baumgartner ascended 128,100 feet above Earth’s surface to the edge of space in a stratospheric balloon. Millions across the globe watched as he opened the door of the capsule, stepped off the platform, and broke the speed of sound while free falling safely back to Earth. Felix set three world records that day—and inspired us all to reach beyond the limits of our own realities, and reimagine our potential to achieve the incredible.


A Better Understanding Of The Universe Will Soon Float Away

Astronomers are making the final preparations to launch a balloon carrying an advanced X-ray detector into the skies above New Mexico in October.

Once floating around an altitude of 120,000 feet at the edge of the atmosphere, the Washington University in St. Louis X-Calibur instrument is expected to measure the polarization of X-ray radiation coming from five distant targets: a galaxy called Markarian 421, a neutron star called the Crab Pulsar, a binary star system called Hercules X-1, and two black holes.

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National Geographic Explorer I

In 1934, the National Geographic Society along with the US Army Air Corps sponsored the Explorer I stratospheric balloon flight.  Three adventurers, Albert Stevens, William Kepner, and Orville Anderson, ascended in the balloon to the record altitude of 60,000 feet (over 11 miles), when the unthinkable happened - the balloon began to tear!  As it began to plunge, the gondola ripped away from the balloon, rendering it exceedingly difficult for the three to don the parachutes they had brought with them.  Anderson was able to jump to safety.  Kepner was just about to jump when he saw that Anderson had become stuck in the gondola’s port hole.  He used his foot to dislodge his mate and the two were able to jump at the last moment.  All survived relatively unscathed.

Undeterred, Stevens and Anderson flew in the Explorer II the following year, setting a new altitude record of 72,395 feet that would not be broken until 1951.

source: National Geographic Magazine