Group Project GSBC 2015

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The Global Space Balloon Challenge (GSBC) is the coming together of people around the world to simultaneously fly high altitude balloons from every corner of the globe, celebrating an age where anyone can reach the edge of space for a few hundred dollars and a few weekends of work. By providing a specified launch window and central online platform, the GSBC enables teams to showcase their unique cultures while working together to educate the next generation and push the boundaries of what is technologically feasible. From the GSBC About Page

We had a very successful launch, read more about launch day on the blog

When & Where

Launch date: 11 April 2015 (Saturday)

Launch time: We are aiming to get there at 7am, set everything up and then launch the balloon.

Place: Blesbokfontain Airport (Old deserted runway)

Close by town: Reedstream Park (12 km north of Kriel, Mpumalanga)

GPS Coordinate: 26°09’59.59” S, 29°10’56.23” E


  • January 2015: Start of Project, doing research.
  • 25 January 2015: Applied for FUA Approval
  • 4 February 2015: Got FUA Approval!!
  • 4 February 2015: 600g Balloon and Parachute ordered (10-20 days for delivery)
  • 24 February 2015: Trackuino PCB's have been ordered
  • 26 February 2015: Our balloon and parachute arrived and we also started to get all the other goodies: scale, handwarmers, payload container, etc.
    • Balloon supplies.jpg
  • 31 March 2015: All components for our Trackuino has arrived, busy building and testing it, we also started on the payload assembly
    • Trackuino1.jpg
    • Trackuino2.jpg
    • Balloon payload.jpg
  • 8 April 2015: Helium Organised and Donated Go Pro received. Mobile tracking system setup and tested (uv5r radio, uiview, packet engine)
    • Uiviewballoontracker.png
  • 9 April 2015: APRS Tracker Complete and tested
    • Trackuinocomplete.jpg
    • Trackertest.png
  • 11 April 2015: We did it! Successfully launched and retrieved our balloon. Reached height of 32.5km
    • More info on the blog
    • Binary00 burstheight1.jpg

Todo List

  • Determine Launch Date (Everybody) (11 April 2015 or 25 April 2015?) 11 April 2015
  • Determine Permission Requirements and launch location (Michael, Gerhard) GPS Coordinate: 26°09’59.59” S, 29°10’56.23” E
  • Get a balloon (Tom)
  • Gas for the Balloon? (Tom) (Schalk has offered us gas) Hanno has organised 20l of Helium
  • Determine Payload and Payload weight (All)
    • Atleast a camera (Wayne Gemmel donated a GoPro!)
    • Some sensors for fun
    • Build APRS Tracker ( - Need a Ham Radio License (Matthew Varkevisser (ZS6MDV) has offered to help us out)
        • APRS tracker up and running and currently being tested. ZS6MDV-3

Possible Buy Links

Amazon doesn't ship directly to SA. Can possibly buy from the following links:


  • Payload Box
    • House4Hack tested their electronics at below 0 temperature using dry ice and Isopropyl Alcohol
    • Handwarmers to keep electronics warm enough?
  • Parachute
  • Radar Reflector - Not required by FUA




People Involved

BinarySpace Team

Team Page

  • Tom Van den Bon
  • Gerhard Nel
  • Michael Bernhardt
  • Wilhelm Wolff
  • Matthew Varkevisser
  • Wayne Gemmell (Donated GoPro)
  • Hanno Smit


We have had a lot of interest from amateur radio operators that want to help track the balloon:

Anybody welcome to join us, let us know on the mailing list or telegram group if you are interested.