The Balloon Launch Project

Balloon project payload housing and spare GPS parts

Balloon project payload housing and spare GPS parts

I’m forming a group to work on a balloon-launch project. With a tentative launch date of June 2013, we plan to launch a weather balloon-powered payload to the mid-stratosphere, take measurements, and recover it.

The first question I always get is “Why”, and I invariably look up, seeking the depths of the sky for an answer. George Mallory, one of the first hikers to climb Mount Everest, was once asked why he felt compelled to climb the world’s highest peak. His famous answer was “Because it’s there”. Those that have ever felt the call of the explorer know how irresistible that is. I’ve come to love hearing people tell me “Well, people have done that before.” True, but *we* have not. Not yet, but we will.

We will not be the first to get to this altitude, nor will we be the last, but it isn’t a trivial task. For the trouble we’re going through to try to achieve our goals, we’re serious about doing some science while we’re there. Up there, we’ll be outside of typical FAA flight zones – this airspace is usually reserved for military use. We know its cold, we know the air is thin, but we also know it’s beautiful up there – a silent and rareified place where, in the words of Felix Baumgartner, you feel as if “you’re on top of the world.” We will collect temperature measurements, pressure measurements, and, of course, take some pictures. We will have the rare opportunity to change our perspective on the world for a little while, and maybe even make some ‘firsts’ while we do it.

In the end we’ve got so much going for us: a legacy of flights to build and improve upon, a hackerspace full of know-how and ingenuity, and the patience to know that we may fail here and there, but what we learn will get us to our goal with that much more experience.

We’re always excited to hear from people who are inspired by this project and we welcome anyone who wants to join the group, learn how to move the project forward, and contribute to the team effort.

i3Detroit’s Annual Halloween Party 2012!!

i3Detroit’s legendary Halloween Party is back! 2012’s blowout will be held on November 3rd, 7:30pm -??, at our shop in Ferndale. Come and see what the creative minds of i3 have in store. There will be music, snacks, and lots of surprises! You never know what, or who, you’ll see at an i3 party. Costumes are, of course, preferred. Happy Halloween everyone!
Facebook event link

MLG: Starcraft 2 viewing Sunday

 “Battle cruiser, operational!”

The Major League Gaming Fall championship is this weekend.  The pro tournaments are a lot of fun to watch, especially in a group with pizza, drinks, and a little LAN Party of our own.  I’ll bring a pair of PCs , laptop, and projector to i3Detroit Sunday 10am-6pm to watch the finals and play a bit.

I’ll have my Beta copy of the Heart of the Swarm Expansion loaded for people to try out as well.

Stop by and play a round.

GG, -SWiT

 

TEDx Detroit was a rousing success!

We’d like to thank everyone who came out and supported TEDx Detroit. The attendance was phenomenal this year, the speakers were insprational and forward-thinking, and the networking and collaboration environment is providing lift to the rise of Detroit across the nation and around the world. In addition to the traditional TED-style talks, participants were also taken on tour to view the rework-in-progress on the Grand Army of the Republic building: one of Detroit’s oldest and most historically impactful structures. On display in the TEDx Labs this year were several hacker- and maker-spaces including i3 Detroit, many with interactive and exciting crafts and hands-on items.

We ended up having about 120 people stop by at various points throughout the day and talk with us about i3 Detroit and what makes it different from other hackerspaces around the Metro area. Interest in tours and membership was high, and we’re thrilled to have the possibility to show new visitors what the space is all about in person! Many of the projects we brought along were a great hit, including the ammo-can speakers, ChronoTune, Racing PowerWheels, and the Giant Connect 4.

In addition to spending time with the attendees, we also spent quite a bit of time talking with and getting to know the organizers, staff, and volunteers of TEDx Detroit. Contratulations on a great conference, and we are looking forward to next year!