JHAB-4 – Reach

Balloon Launch Status

Launch Readiness Status go
Launch readiness has been evaluated, and is currently GO. Weather and Wind conditions are favorable for launch and recovery. Flight is a GO!

Launch Completed: 11/04/2012 @ 09:00 amcompleted
This balloon was launched on 11/04/2012 at 09:00 am. Launch was completed at 14:24.

Mission Flight Director name Joshua Nagel email nageljp27@gmail.com

Launch Location: Hesperia Truck StopOpen in Google Maps


Description of Launch

Big balloon, a little helium and under 2 lbs. JHAB-4 is an attempt at an altitude record, we're going to try to reach 40,000 meters (131,000 feet)! - Launch predictions show a 5 hour flight time, landing in Moreno Valley.

Payload Details

Payload Weight: 0.450 kilograms / 0.99 pounds
The weight of the payload in kilograms.

Balloon Weight: 1.6 kilograms / 3.52 pounds
The weight of the balloon in kilograms.

Payload Details

Radio, parachute only.

Post Flight Details

Flight PathDownload KMZ File KJ6UXA-4
The KMZ file contains all the packets collected via the Amateur Radio Network, viewable in google earth. If you download the file into Google Earth, you can view the 3D version.

Landing LocationOpen in Google Maps

Flight Information

Landing Time: 14:24
The time that the balloon landed on the ground.

Flight Time: 04:32:00
The length of time that the balloon was airborne. Formatted as HH:MM:SS.

Maximum Altitude: 28.6 kilometers / 17.77 miles
The maximum altitude the balloon reaches in kilometres.

Flight Media

14 thoughts on “JHAB-4 – Reach

  1. Post Flight,
    We’re not sure why we didn’t achieve our altitude goal. It appears from the data we reached a maximum altitude of 94,122 ft (28,688m), so our hypothesis, based upon the nub of balloon recovered, the 1600g balloon was flawed in some way. The specifications show an average bursting altitude (m) of 36,000, JHAB-4 bursting was far below that.

    At launch, the flight path was on target, following the predictions, so we made our way to the predicted landing site in Beaumont CA, about 60 miles from the launch site. As we arrived at the predicted site, Josh indicated the flight pattern changed dramatically and it appears to have reached altitude, and started its decent already over Norco about 40 miles form our position. We started our chase back to Orange county, and watched JHAB-4 descend into Irvine, finally landing from what aprs.fi and Google satellite views told us, on the roof of the Trinity Broadcasting’s main building!

    We arrived at the landing location, the radio’s gps confirmed it was on the roof. We managed to contact the very nice folks there to ask if we could access their roof, and Reverend Ed allowed me to climb up the access ladder, and just as the radio’s indicated there was JHAB-4 on the roof – recovery!

    While we didn’t reach our goal, we did test out the new radio, which worked great. So no altitude record, but another successful launch and recovery. We’ll post a few pictures soon.

    Ken and Josh

      • Andrew, for this flight we tested out the “BLGPS 2m” radio from BigRedBee.com – we were happy with it, smaller than the Byonics, and easier to config. We’re integrating into our main capsule.

        We were disappointed that we didn’t get near our goal, but can tell the balloon had problems – but as you said, at least we got it back. Each flight has been an adventure, which was the whole point to us starting, we learn a lot with each flight. Turns out it’s complicated to launch something into [near]space! ;)

  2. Hi there, the clearest earth images I’ve seen so far from a space balloon !! Amazing! I’m going to launch my fisrt balloon in a few days from Italy, do you think the gopro filming was so good because the camera was outside the payload, or beacause the low ascending speed, or It’s about the camera angle.. and a really good weather? How did you fixed the gopro outside the payload?

    Thanks for your help!


    • Hi Max,
      We keep the GoPro inside the capsule. One trick is to add an anti-fog in the GoPro case. This helps it from fogging up during ascent. We have had other flights where we mounted camera’s outside the capsule – there are a variety of way to do this – and we have used a small PVC pipe attached, and then used these.

      Then, yes, good weather, and some luck.
      Best of luck on your launch – send us a link after your launch!
      Josh & Ken

  3. Wow – great video, sorry you didn’t reach altitude goal, but glad you got everything back. I happen to be into rocketry and have been thinking of the possibility of launching a rocket from a HAB – do you think this would be doable? Looking forward to your future adventures!

  4. Very inspiring. I am planning to build my own space flight. I have started playing with Raspberry Pi. What if I have to shoot the device into the orbit ? Baloons won’t work in this case. Any advice ?

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