Recap of EOSS-51

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Note: The Civilian Space eXploration Team (CSXT) made their historic amateur rocket flight into space (first ever) in the early summer of 2004. EOSS is proud to have played an ever so minor role in their awesome accomplishments.

LAUNCH DATE: August 25, 2001
LAUNCH TIME: 16:50 UTC, 10:50 MDT
LAUNCH SITE: Byers Colorado

  • 39.7032� North Latitude  
  • 104.2622� West Longitude


  • 39� 34.790' N
  • 104� 09.3466' W

black = prediction (N�KKZ-3)
red = actual path (W5VSI-11)


  • HF Net during Flight
    • 7235 KHz starting at 14:30 UTC (8:30am MDT)
  • Beacons:
  • ATV
    • 426.250 MHz
  • Tracking and Recovery Operations
    • 448.450 MHz (100 Hz tone required) PPFMA Repeater
    • 146.580 MHz simplex
  • Simplex at Launch Site
    • 146.550 MHz


The Civilial Space Exploration Team has a web site at:

Jerry Larson was the representative of the group and he gave an excellent and very interesting presentation of their groups goals. Check out the PDF file of his Powerpoint presentation to EOSS (linked above) and also be sure to go the their web site to see what a really exciting group of people we have managed to hook up with.

Flight Recaps

Bolder Newspaper Article - This news organization was on scene for the flight and wrote us up in their hardcopy as well as web based newspaper.

Here's an email Mike Manes sent out to the EOSS List. It makes an excellent recap of the flight: (I did some minor editing)

Hi Bruce,

Well, great! Thanks for taking the time to listen in and acknowledge our signals! Wish we'd had the cross band repeater on the string, but we were running real heavy as it was. Bruce NA0BR did call the net on 7235 but got no responses. He reported the same crummy props that you heard and finally gave up.

The APRS format was straight NMEA $GPRMC, $GPGGA and $GPGSA thru the KPC-3+ V.8.3 TNC in the APRS module. The ATV runs a PC Electronics KPA-5 1W transmitter into a W6OAL horizontally-polarized little wheel. We need an 18-el yagi and mast-mounted LNA to get P3 beyond 50 miles. So if you got sync bars, you were doing pretty well!

We launched at 1050 MDT (1650Z) after waiting for the rain, multiple layers of overcast and electrical storms to pass; there was a weak cold front that waited for our scheduled launch time, of course! > Murphy never rests!<

A call to DIA TRACON revealed that not even airliners would go thru that stuff, and, even worse, the weather was predicted to move our way! A visible clearing trend to the NW appeared to be coming our way, so we called for a 1 hr delay.

About the time the weather began to clear, the wind picked up and smacked our 100 gm piebald into the ground. As we were hand-wringing over a possible scrub to Sunday, Merle K�YUK decided he might be able to make a windy launch work using a smaller (1200 gm) balloon filled heavy - the downside would be a lower than planned burst.

We decided to go with Merle's plan. A bed sheet was used to manage to the balloon during the fill. A quick brief on launch technique was given to the 7-person launch crew and they lined up downwind and the balloon was released.

The launch was perfect - as the balloon soared overhead, each of the 7 payload packages were snatched straight up from the handlers open hands as they stood stock still. The real surprise was that not only did Merle SWAG a good fill to 1000 fpm in all that wind, but that we hit 91.5 kft before burst at 1805Z!

The balloon shards were successfully cut away shortly after burst, and the descent was reasonably free of the "chaos" we are accustomed to seeing in the ATV. By the way, the up-looking ATV camera became totally obscured with snow at about 25 kft in ascent, a downside of of the pyramidal sunshade, but it blew clear at burst, and we had good ATV all the way down. Chris, KB�YRZ, who had ATV in the field near the landing site, actually saw the lowest payload module hit the ground before he lost the signal!

The entire flight remained very close to the Byers launch site and landed only about 11 miles SSE. The ground station antenna elevation never went below about 40 degrees until late in descent.

The downside was that the landing site was was in deep, rugged creek bed, which really spoofed DF bearings for the recovery team and, there were very few roads nearby. Recovery back to the T&R team's vehicles took the better part of afternoon. But thanks to the persistence and skill of EOSS's crack Lost & Found Dept, our recovery record is now 51/51.

An independent documentary production crew, covering the Civilian Space Exploration Team effort, was on site and got some good shots of the flight prep, launch, flight and recovery. They hope to sell their work to Discovery Channel. If they're successful and we learn when it airs, we'll post a notice on the EOSS web site.

73 es tnx,

de Mike W5VSI



Here are some graphs by Nick Hanks and Mark Caviezel


  • Plain Text TNC Log File
  • Log file data converted to Comma Delimited data includes:
    • Time (it's an excel format and represents a fraction of a day
    • Elapsed time in minutes
    • Altitude in Feet
    • Wind direction as computed between packets
    • Wind speed as computed between packets
    • Latitude
    • Longitude
    • GPS Track
    • GPS Speed
    • Ascent rate as calculated between packets
  • APRS-SA Log file
  • Excel Spreadsheet showing the temperature data captured aboard the CSXT payload. Provided by Mark Caviezel, KC�JHQ . If you don't have Excel or don't want to download 600K bytes to see the graph of this data, just to to the Graphs Link above to see it.