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About the THEO-1 Mission

The THEO-1 Mission was the first mission from your “self founded” school Space Agency.

Actually, it’s more of a school project where we went a little overboard. But probably it’s not the last mission from our school to reach the edge of space. In about 4 weeks, we completed the entire project from planning how to launch, and what sensors we need, to a successful recovery of the probe.

The Logo I Designed for the THEO-1 Mission Space Agency

How did we reach space?

Probably you are asking yourself how we launched the “Spacecraft”. In Germany it’s hard to get a permit to launch about anything in to the air. To get hold of a permit to launch a small to medium rocket is nearly impossible. That’s why we had to rethink the whole mission. A mission fail wouldn’t be an option for us, we stumbled over different weather-balloons. It depends what definition for the edge of Space you use, but it is possible to launch a weather-ballon to at least the edge of Space. So we wanted to use a weather-ballon, it’s still not easy to find the right weather Balloon and calculate the right amount of helium for the Balloon.

Weather Balon THG Stratoflight THG
The Weather Balloon

About the project timeline

Because the project was a school project we also should learn the basics of project management. I loved this aspect of this project especially because of my qualification to initiate and plan projects. In general I loved the idea to start a new project. I thought it makes sense to use a PM Tool (Project Management Tool). We had a low budget for stuff like especially as a school project. My Teacher already got a pretty high quote for the balloon, the gas and all the sensors and cameras. I suggested to use the free and good enough PM-tool, Agantty. We created different project groups and and created a task overview.

Here the Basic Groups and their Tasks:

  • Documentation
    • Taking Photos
    • Creation a Video Documentation
  • Sensor engineers
    • Programming the Sensor Boards
  • Localizing Group
    • Cellular GPS Logger
    • Satellite Phone GPS Logger (for high attitude)
  • Spacecraft engineers
    • Design the “Spacecraft” with foam
    • Put all the Sensors and Cameras at the right spot at launch
  • Group for Recording the flight
    • Set up 1 Go Pro with additional battery packs
    • Setting up a 360deg Camera to record the flight in 360 deg.
  • Marketing and documentation
    • Twitter Account
    • Instagram Account
    • Website
    • Interaction with local newspapers

What parts we used:

  • Just a foam box for all the “Spacecraft” (Images)
  • A spot GPS Module from SPOT
  • A GPS Cellular Modell from Amazon
  • Different Sensors and Dataloggers (I could go in detail but it would be to much)
  • A GoPro 360 deg camera
  • Simple GoPro
  • Powerbanks
  • A Website Hosting
    • for the Live Map
    • for the Website
  • The Ballon
  • The Gas

What I did

Actually some of us worked in multiple different groups. I helped in the organizing the project, coding the Sensors and I used the Spot API to build a live map to follow the Position of the Ballon live on your Website. Also I coded the whole website with simple HTML CSS and JS using Grunt as bundler and Gsap for some simple animations. Durring launch I used my knowledge to make the live event technology.

THG Freiburg THEO 1 Mission
The launch event


Here are some links about this Project: