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HABEX started as a Sci Bono Amateur Radio Project in cooperation with the Gauteng department of education. The introduction went as follows: -
Radio Amateurs have been experimenting with communications for decades. Few areas of communication are however as exciting as space communications. Satellites rotating around the earth beaming information downward inspires images of astronauts, space travel and even the possibility of life on other planets.
Nowadays the availability of Google Earth and the internet brings the reality of space so much closer to John Q Public or as we call him Joe Soap. You and me, ordinary people.
Modern technology however does not allow us to experience the excitement of interacting with the real hardware used in space communications. This is where the magic of amateur radio starts. Every boy and girl at one stage looks up in the sky and wonders what it would be like to go to space. Some boys and girls get to do it. Chuck Yeager, John Glen, Neil Armstrong, Richard Branson and our very own Mark Shuttleworth are among the elite few that have experienced space or near space travel.
What we tend to forget is the thousands of scientists and engineers that silently work behind the scenes, developing new technologies to send manned and unmanned spacecraft into orbit. Weather stations around the world send up quasi-satelites on a daily basis and they too experience the thrill of near-space travel and communications.
Through the involvement of communications in high altitude balloons, you too can become a space engineer, utilising exciting technologies and conducting extraordinary experiments in near space conditions.
The High Altitude Balloon Experiment (HABEX) is an effort at experiencing the excitement and challenge of putting a payload into the stratosphere, on a shoestring budget.
This site aims to provide feedback on the various projects and actions that make the above possible. Data obtained and project information will be kept here for future use.
Please look through the site and hopefully something will help you in getting your own balloon launched.
The HABEX team
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