Mathew Lippincott’s blog on design and DIY aerospace
December 19th, 2011

1st Transcontinental & 1st Trans-Atlantic Balloon Overflight- California Near Space

I’m not up on my balloon news! posted here for the purpose of completeness.  California Near Space  was already slashdotted four days ago.

Amazing, they beat the White Star team and Robert Rochte, who threwdown on transatlantic ballooning earlier in the year with his SDG-10, which appears to still be grounded.

White Star’s not working with off the shelf balloons though– they’ve got a bigger goal: DIY  tropospheric superpressure balloons.  these will be capable of multi-week flights, if successfully built.  Dan Bowen’s talk– Jump to 3:30 into this talk, and see the superpressure tetroon discussion.  5:40, discussion of Rochte’s designs.











April 2nd, 2011

Amateur Radio Throwdown: Planetary Circumnavigation by Balloon

Mark the date, March 24, 2011- Robert Rochte throws in his hat for circumnavigation of the globe by an autonomous balloon on the Balloon_Sked mailing list.  I’ve covered Rochte’s superpressure balloons here before. In this message, he’s referring to the White Star Balloon’s ongoing attempt at crossing the atlantic, a feat which Rochte has been pursuing as well.

Well, I was going to sneak-launch a competing superpressure balloon

this morning, but alas, the universe had other plans for me today.

If WSB make it across – which I expect they will – then our next great

challenge should be circumnavigation of the planet. I’m officially

throwing my hat in for that one right now!

Best of luck with the flight, guys!




March 7th, 2011

Reed Arts Week

The talk and workshop went great. I was too busy to photograph the flights, but will get photos soon.  Su Liu came up with a great double-layer heat seaming strategy for her tetrahedron balloon- it was fast and quick:
Su Liu launching with a hair dryer

February 28th, 2011

Reed Arts Week, RAW: Geographies

I’m proud to be participating in Reed’s Art Week. I’ll be giving a lecture and demonstration of aerospace in the arts and Grassroots Mapping tools on Saturday, March 5 @ Noon. Location is still TBA. At the Gray Campus Center room C. There will be complementary supplies and instructions for building your own solar hot air balloon.

Essentially this kit, minus the expensive stuff (wind speed meter, infrared thermometer).
solar balloon building and flying kit


Come for balloons, stay for Francis Alÿs

At 4pm Saturday there will be a showing of Francis Alÿs’s When Faith Moves Mountains, and other works.  Of course, you could watch his work on your computer, but get out and enjoy the cinema!
Francis Alÿs, “When Faith Moves Mountains” (2002). from Daily Serving on Vimeo.

February 27th, 2011

Kite Balloon Development @ PLOTS

Follow the kite balloon working page over at the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science.  There’s a lot of research in there that I’ve only now gotten on the web.


test kite balloon with molly, 2008

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