Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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Block M Launched into near-space

Posted: December 21, 2012

Block M Launched into near-space

If you’ve watched the Block M video, you may have noticed a Block M launched into near-space at the end of the clip. Guess who launched it? The High Altitude Solutions research group!

The group is advised by Professor Aaron Ridley and includes 30 members from various engineering departments. One member, AOSS student Nathan Hamet, spoke about the launch.

“The launch was awesome because it was an entire team effort. Not only on the Block M part but also with new technology we sent up, including a module that can tweet our exact GPS position when we are below 5,000 feet,” Hamet says.

Hamet says the most difficult part of the launch was getting the package back at the end.

“After running prediction software on where it was going to land before we launched it, live tracking during the launch, and real-time prediction of the new landing site while it was in the air, the payload train landed in the tallest tree in a grove outside of Milan, MI. After the help of some neighbors and the permission of the local fire department, we had the tree cut down to retrieve our equipment. It took us 36 hours to get everything back.”

The video was created by the student group Filmic Productions and was designed to welcome the class of 2017.

“It reminded me when I got my acceptance letter to the University of Michigan,” Hamet says. “The video shows the complete life cycle from the beginning of life and ending with the possibilities at Michigan. I come from three generations of Michigan graduates and Ann Arbor has always been my dream destination to end my education. The fact that my team and I were part of that final scene really showed how full circle we have come.”

Visit the High Altitude Solutions (HAS) Website
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