SPARK Mission Plan

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The Stratospheric Platform Assisted Rocket above the Kármán line mission, or SPARK, is a bold plan to expand on the success of Far Horizons. The primary objective of the SPARK mission is to launch a rocket from a high altitude balloon-borne platform to an apogee above the Kármán Line before the end of the 2012 calendar year. We believe the challenge and excitement of this mission is a project worthy of the Far Horizons community's time and dedication.

Keeping with the program’s informal motto - Democratizing Space Exploration - the SPARK mission intends to create an experience that will inspire our community to be - and become - involved with an authentic mission to space. Driven by a multi-tiered approach, the SPARK mission plan is designed to offer many entry points for a diverse range of participants. The Far Horizons community includes middle school aged summer campers all the way to PhD physicists and astrophysicists and encompassing all levels in between. That diversity is considered in the mission plan. An undertaking of this level of complexity cannot rely on staff alone. The involvement of the dedicated part-time enthusiasts is crucial to mission success. A solely staff-driven project would be antithetical to the goals of Far Horizons. Tapping the disparate and essential skills, knowledge and enthusiasm of the entirety of the Far Horizons community is the only means to mission success.

This is intended to be a living document. Please add to it as problems are identified and solved.


Mission Description

Mission Objectives

Mission Architecture

Site Selection

Team Members, Participants and Roles

Regulatory and Safety Issues



Rocket Body

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