Broadcast 1723 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

28 Feb 2012 John Powell
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Guest: John Powell. Topics: Updates regarding JP Aerospace and balloon launch developments including the Airship To Orbit Program. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed John Powell back to the show for JP Aerospace updates. For more information, visit his website, Also visit the Samsung page for his winning ad at John started our discussion by describing the Galaxy II winning ad that JP Aerospace did with Samsung in Japan and the United States. This involved split second timing and complicated technology. During this segment, we also talked about the balloon world altitude record which JP holds and his PongSat program for students. We then switched over to his Airship To Orbit Program. John described the various stages to the program and the Dark Sky Station that will be a type of spaceport at 140,000 feet. Listen to his entire plan as it is not only interesting, it is ambitious. As the segment ended, I asked how the balloons end their mission. Does he recover them, do they blow up, what happens to them. In our second segment, Trent from Australia called in and related the high altitude balloons to the suborbital industry and the conference now in progress in Palo Alto. He then asked John for his hopes and expectations for 2012 for his organization. John then went through his goals for the year, his technology testing and development program plus his planned flight program. We then talked about space weather and then John talked about human flight with his program. This led us to a discussion of planned ion engine usage and development. John took several questions related to the power plant and its evolution to end stage JP programs. What then unfolded was a rather technical discussion about balloon technolgy and capabilities. Don't miss it. We also talked about orbital speed for a balloon and John went over some history with us dating back several decades to Mach 10-15 balloon flights to 200,000 feet. Listeners also asked about the balloon reentry and the potential payload size which John estimated at 60,000 lbs. Reda inquired about finding party balloon pieces in the desert and we talked about the different balloon materials and environmental issues with the various kinds of material used in consumer as well as industrial balloons. John also went over material choices saying that there were benefits to ripstop polyurethane and that nylon was very heavy. John concluded his comments by urging everyone to talk to the sciences classes K-12 and I asked for feedback from listeners who make the effort to do this. Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can get more information about JP Aerospace from the website and John's email address is on his site.



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