Near space - national exposure?

Near space is the poorman's space program. It permits you to fly experiments into a space like environment for a faction of the cost of a satellite launch. This forum is where Nuts and Volts readers can share information and data from near space missions - both past flights and those under preparation.

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Near space - national exposure?

Post by CeaSaR » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:32 pm


What are your thoughts on the Citi Visa card commercial? For those that haven't seen it,
look up "Citi: The Space Commercial" on

I saw it and thought of N&V and your Near Space column. Perhaps the ad guy is a subscriber.

Hey, what do I know?

Paul Verhage
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Re: Near space - national exposure?

Post by Paul Verhage » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:30 am

The problem is that it is illegal to use cell phones while airborne. Also, there are federal regulations we must follow for safety (FAR 101). I'm concerned someone will see this commerical and attempt the same activity. Because it is a commerical and not an educational video, there is no mention of the regulations and safety.

Cell phone towers are designed with horizontal gain. They simply aren't going to be good at receiving cell phone communications when the balloon is way above the horizon. Unless the cell phone coverage is really good, there will be very little communication with the cell phone upon recovery. Luck will play a good part in recovering a near spacecraft that's tracked solely by cell phone.

Otherwise, I wish I had thought of the commerical! The video of the earth's horizon is cool. The whole activity is just so awesome, that I just can't see how people wouldn't be clamoring to get involved.

I guess the commerical is a love/hate relationship.

Onwards and Upwards

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