Suborbital Testing Puts Moon-Bound Computing System Through its Paces

With a float duration of about four hours, a 2019 high-altitude balloon flight with World View Enterprises enabled the MSU team to evaluate RadPC’s tolerance to radiation over a longer period of time. (Credits: World View Enterprises)

By Nicole Quenelle
NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center

EDWARDS, Calif. — As you read this article, you don’t need to worry that cosmic radiation might destroy the computer displaying it. That’s because the Earth’s atmosphere provides protection against such radiation. However, for astronauts relying on computing systems in space, cosmic radiation is a real concern. This is why NASA is supporting tests of radiation-tolerant computing systems on suborbital vehicles – and eventually on the Moon.

(more…)

Update on World View Progress

World View Stratollite module. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

The Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference is being held in Colorado through Wednesday. I wasn’t able to attend this year, but the following folks are there tweeting away:

  • Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust
  • Rand Simberg‏ @Rand_Simberg
  • Colorado Space News‏ @CO_Space_News

Below is an update on the progress of World View based on their tweets.

Jane Poynter
CEO
World View

  • 2017 has been a seminal year for World View in which the company has flown many times
  • Helium-filled balloons can carry Stratollite platforms with 50-kg payloads to altitudes of 16-30 km
  • Stratollites can provide payloads with 250 watts of power
  • Plan to double mass and power capacity within the next year
  • Balloons can remain stationary over specific areas and maneuvered to a location of the client’s choosing
  • Expect to increase flight rate to 1 or 2 per month quite quickly
  • balloons can only descend to ground at night, but plan to change that in the future
  • The stratosphere (aka, “ignorosphere”) is a good destination destination for science investigation
  • Stratollites can be used to test experiments and technology for Mars because the atmospheric pressure at the altitudes they reach are similar to that on the Red Planet
  • “very close” to substituting hydrogen for helium in balloons
  • Spaceport Tucson is focused on stratospheric flights
  • Other balloon operators are welcome at Spaceport Tucson where World View operates

Andrew Antonio
Director of Marketing
World View

  • Can provide imaging coverage for longer periods of time and at lower costs than UAVs
  • Goal is to provide best of satellites and UAVs using balloons
  • Using off-the-shelf cameras got a resolution of about 50 cm
  • Believes company can reduce imaging system to 10- to 15-cm resolution next year and communications rate to 100- to 500 Mbps
  • Ultimate goal is have constellations floating over regions providing continuous imaging











World View to Send KFC Chicken Sandwich to Stratosphere

KFC Zinger Stratollite (Credit: KFC)

TUCSON, Ariz. (World View PR) – World View, the stratospheric exploration company, today announced it will launch the first extended duration development flight of its high-altitude Stratollite™ vehicle later this month, carrying a commercial payload from flight partner KFC. With the launch window opening on June 21, this will be World View’s first ever live broadcast launch, and its most important to date for the Stratollite vehicle. This pivotal milestone signals the market readiness of the first-ever, long-duration, navigable stratospheric payload vehicle, opening an entirely new economy and application markets in the stratosphere.

(more…)











World View Closes $15M to Create a New Category of Above-Earth Technology

World_View_Logo“Stratollite” flight platform signals the emergence of a new stratospheric economy

TUCSON, Ariz., April 27, 2016 (World View PR) — World View, the pioneers at the edge of space, today announced it has closed a $15M Series B round, with Canaan Partners as the lead investor. The round also includes participation from Norwest Venture Partners, Tencent, Moment Ventures, and Base Ventures. With the funding, World View plans to accelerate the development and commercial adoption of its “Stratollites” — high-tech balloons that operate in the stratosphere.

(more…)