A high school group has built a robotic system for releasing balloons to test upper atmosphere winds before launches at Cape Canaveral. This is useful in lightning conditions when people are restricted from releasing them out in the open: Students’ pink robot could save space industry millions – Florida Today –
For decades, specialists at the Air Force station’s weather balloon facility would brave blustery or otherwise bad conditions to release large white weather balloons by hand. But when lightning was too close, no balloons got launched.
Now, a hot-pink robot built by local high school students is rolling to the rescue.
“Even if you save one launch, it’s worth it,” Nick McAleenan, 16, told media members crowded outside the Air Force station’s weather balloon facility to see the robot in action.
“PINK Team,” a robotics team of students from Rockledge, Cocoa Beach, Viera and Space Coast high schools, fashioned a clever way to release weather balloons without risking human life.
The PINK team got its name as follows:
The girls on the team won out on the choice of team name and color. Bradley says the boys had skipped out on that team meeting.
“The guys were out surfing that day,” Bradley said. “Out of spite, the girls picked pink.”