#106 June 1997
Section 184.108.40.206.106.of the Artemis Data Book
by Balloon lead Bill Brown.
This is an unofficial report [by Ronnie Lajoie] of the first mission of Project HALO. An official press release will be issued in the next few days, after HAL5's HALO team members have had time to analyze the video and data from the rocket and the balloon gondola.
Press release issued by the National Space Society.
HAL5 made amateur rocketry history on Sunday, May 11, 1997. At 8:25 am EDT, HAL5's Project HALO team performed the first amateur rockoon
mission when it successfully launched its Space Launch 1 rocket from a high altitude balloon. At the time, the balloon was near 60,000 feet and was about 110 nautical miles east of its launch point in Hampstead, North Carolina. (GPS was lost near 30,000 feet.) The balloon launch itself occurred at 6:59 AM EDT, and was just beautiful. No morning wind. Sunny morning sky.
HAL5's asphalt and nitrous-oxide hybrid rocket performed wonderfully and shot straight up towards space. HAL5 therefore also made "real" rocketry history as well, becoming the first organization to launch a hybrid rocket from a high altitude.
A preliminary estimate for the apogee is about 38 nautical miles. Based on this, HAL5 can now claim the world record for highest altitude achieved to date by a hybrid rocket.
The entire Project HALO team deserves our heartiest congratulations for a job very well done! They definitely proved how "professional" an "amateur" organization can be. The standard has now been established and the foundation of the pathway for amateur access to space has been laid &emdash; with asphalt!
Rewards and acknowledgment will go to whoever recovers the balloon gondola and/or rocket. If you find either one, please take photographs and make notes of its condition where you find it (on the beach or in the ocean) before picking it up.
Two previous attempts scrubbed.
The first attempt to launch the rockoon on Saturday, April 23rd, from a farm in Cerro Gordo, NC (about 60 miles west of Wilmington), had been scrubbed for high winds, increasing air traffic, gondola and electrical problems. A 2nd attempt, set for May 3rd, had been postponed due to bad weather forecasted for Wilmington, NC that weekend.
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