Mars Society Australia (MSA) announced that its second near-space payload is ready for flight. Set to be lofted into the atmosphere on board a high-altitude weather balloon (courtesy of Robert Brand) later this month, the MSA science package was built by Trent McDougall & Steven Hobbs and consists of a variety of research instruments, including a fish-eye camera, a spectrometer, a visible camera, a near-IR camera and pressure and temperature sensors.
This effort is part of the Marsobot Project, with the goal of raising instruments and control systems to TRL6 as they fly under Mars-like conditions at an altitude of 30 kilometers. Flying via balloon rather than a rocket provides MSA the ability to receive hours’ worth of information rather than just minutes, with all data being stored on a SD card for later recovery. Stay tuned for more details.