Project HALO (High-Altitude Lift-Off): Sky Launch 1

Attempt 3 -- Success in Hampstead, NC. Article by Steve Mustaikis

The following text was taken, with permission, from an article by Steve Mustaikis, HALO Propulsion Lead, which was published in the May-June 1997 issue of the Southeastern Space Supporter, newsletter of HAL5.

Ready to Do It Again!

What a difference a year makes! For those of you who don’t know me, I have been working in California for the last year. I was so happy to see the balloon lift into the sky after working all night on May 10. With the rocket on board sending back video and telemetry it was an impressive sight. At that point we had done more than almost every amateur group trying to do a space shot. We had a team of people who worked together to build and launch a vehicle capable of making it into space. This effort is amazing in itself.

Even more amazing is the team is still together and working on the next vehicle. None of the amateur rocketry organizations can claim this feat. When I left a year ago the propulsion system was nearly complete, and the only major thing that was lacking was the electronics package to launch the vehicle and send back video. Apparently while I was away a few electronic gurus joined the team [Clay Sawyer, Ed Myszka, and Gene Young]. Their work looked excellent, especially for the time frame they had to put the system together.

Now were getting ready to do it again. This time we have only four months to develop the new motor, vehicle and electronics package. We don’t have time to change technology, just learn from our mistakes and successes, and go to work. For those of you who helped on the last vehicle, I thank you! And for those who are going to help on the next one, let’s get busy!