The balloon launch is the culmination of Iter Ad Astra -

Road to the Stars - a stratospheric balloon project put together

by a great group of McCormick coding students, Rotarians,

teachers and parent volunteers.  It was all hands on the balloon

when about a dozen students were joined by their teachers,

parents, and Rotarians for Saturday morning’s launch just before 8:00 a.m. 


Iter Ad Astra was made possible by a grant from the Microsoft Techspark

program through the Rotary Club of Cheyenne.  This project was designed

by Don Day, meteorologist and Rotary Club member.  Don will be receiving a

State Leader K-12 Digital Learning Awards from the Wyoming Department of

Education for sharing his passion for science and learning through this  program.


The launch included a payload carrying two Raspberry Pis (small computers)

which will gather atmospheric data (temperature, pressure) as well as GPS data

and two onboard cameras. The students constructed the payload and assisted

in the testing and coding of the onboard computers to capture the data (Raspberry Pis),

GPS and atmospheric sensors and cameras.


After Don Day checked with the airport to make sure that they were cleared for take-off,

the flying satellite launched at McCormick at 8:00 a.m., and as of 10:30 was still on its

journey to the stars near Kimball, Nebraska, and it’s expected to land sometime this morning. 

Students and members of the public are tracking it’s course by GPS placed onboard, and

chasers are following the balloon by car so they retrieve it when it finally lands. Students

will then download the photos and other date from the balloons.   The balloon/payload will

likely fly to as high as 75,000 to 90,000 feet.  The atmospheric, GPS and camera data will

be analyzed after the flight to learn more about the structure of the atmosphere.  For More

Pictures see Road to the Stars Photo Album on our home page.