Project Horus High altitude balloon project

Horus 14

Technical information:

Launch date 18/01/2011, 11:30 am
Landing date 18/01/2011, 2:00 pm
Flight duration ~2.5 hours
Launch site -35.1021, 138.825
Landing site -34.9597, 140.0354
Flight path
Distance travelled 111.5 km
Maximum altitude 30,209 m
Average ascent rate 5 m/s
Impact speed 4 m/s
Video camera GoPro HD Hero
Flight computer Nut 1.1 flight computer
Secondary flight computer MobSendDat telemetry system
GPS module Falcom FSA03
Radio transmitter Radiometrix NTX2 25mw
Secondary radio transmitter Radiometrix TX1H 100mW
Telemetry 300 baud RTTY, CRC16 checksum
Tracking Ground stations (distributed listener), 2 chase cars, web based tracker


Horus 14 was a charity launch organised in conjunction with the organisers of the 2011

The aim was to fly a plush Tux doll into near space & film the entire ordeal - with the doll later being auctioned off to raise money for the Queensland flood appeal.


Preparation for Horus 14 went smoothly - both Mark and my payloads worked perfectly at setup. We had no trouble with inflation or stringing together the balloon train, and our second chase team for the day (David Rowe VK5DGR and his son William) got to see how a launch goes under ideal conditions!

Mark with his payload & Joel inflating in the background


As is becoming somewhat of a norm, the balloon train had several payloads & was quite long. Thanks to to great weather and prep by the team, we had no trouble launching smoothly though.

Raising the balloon train into the air

With tux airborne, we set off towards the predicted landing site (near Karoonda). Throughout the flight, predictions were very consistent, which made getting into position to intercept the landing easy. At the time of touchdown, Joel and I were parked on the side of the road, watching the payload descend into a field, and our second chase car was not far behind.

Unfortunately for us, recovering the payload meant a long walk through a field of very tall thistles - not much fun for those of us wearing shorts!


Footage &

Some great footage was captured of Tux in 'space' - Grant put together a great clip for us:

A week after launch, Mark & Joel were off to, where they gave a talk on the project and organised the charity auction of Tux - the result of which was phenomenal with $23,239 raised for the Queensland flood appeal! The winner took home Tux himself & a giant print signed by LCA keynote speaks & Linus Torvalds.

Mark and Joel with Tux & the signed print

A big thanks to everybody who made this a possibility, and to those who bid at the auction. :-)