The WikiBalloon is a launching ramp for the WikiLauncher able to reach the Near Space at 35 km of lift-off altitude. This platform is capable of taking pictures from an altitude of 30 kilometers above sea level – approximately one third of the distance to space. It has an IRIDIUM tracking system.
The project will act as a proof-of-concept to demonstrate to ourselves and the rest of the world that our organizational philosophy is a viable approach to conducting aerospace missions, while at the same time testing some of the equipment we intend to use for our satellite (see below) under near-space conditions. The payload will also include a camera to be used by fellow open-space team Team FREDNET on their mission to the Moon.
The WikiLauncher is a two stages rocket. First stage of about 3.5 kg is able to reach 250 km. Second stage of about 500 grams is able to reach an orbital speed about 30,000 km/h where the WikiSat, a femto-satellite, will be injected. This launcher is made using low cost materials.
The WikiSat is a femto-satellite (Less than 100 grams mass) able to send pictures to a ground station thanks to its attitude control system and the high gain antenna.
The objective of these projects are to design, build, launch and operate a satellite and a launch vehicle capable of winning the N-Prize contest. All the engineering cycled is covered by the tool kit Moon2.0. See our google-code wiki page for details: http://code.google.com/p/moon-20