[update 2010-11-01] The launch was scrubbed due to high altitude winds. We're looking for a clear weekend to try again.[/update]

ComponentOne is headed to space this weekend! We’ve partnered with our friends at Hack Pittsburgh on their LEAD Balloon Project. This will be their third launch, their second launch won fourth place in Hackerspaces in Space. Their announcement for this launch can be seen at http://www.hackpittsburgh.com/launch_time.

We’ll launch the balloon from central Ohio, and track its progress using GPS coordinates transmitted by ham radio signal. The flight can be tracked online at http://aprs.fi/?call=kb3tan-12&mt=roadmap&z=16&timerange=43200, or by following #HackPGH on Sunday. The balloon is loaded with sensors, collecting GPS, altitude, temperature and other data, as well as a camera to take photos of the flight. Photos from the second flight can be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/17267190@N02/sets/72157624683768174/.

What’s the point of being part of this? Cool controls need cool data, and a near-space voyage is about as cool as data gets. The balloon’s data will find its way into some of our future demos and samples. We’re all pretty tired of Northwind and Adventureworks, so we’ll be using data that’s out of this world.