John M Powell

All Photos
What if. Render of Project Hazel 1959 with background from a JPA flight. JPA on Patreon:
A great story about one of our payload partners!…
Launch of Mesospheric Explorer 2.
It's Bad Drawing time! MesoHab: Advanced concept for a crewed research lab in the Mesosphere. The balloons are 'jellyfish' configuration, open bottom with only the top managing the helium bubble. Who want's to work a 200,000 feet?
Mesospheric Explorer 2. This shows the size of the balloon at peak altitude.
Artists concept of Mesospheric Explorer 6. JPA on Patreon:
Good Morning Earth! Up top on a JPA mission.
The support equipment is as impressive as the rocket.…
OK, I guess that storm outside (I'm in N. California) isn't that bad...…
Parts of the balloon launch bag. Weights in the pockets are key. The weights cause the sides of the bag to grip the balloon, holding it in place until the tear panel is gone. Change the weight pattern for different winds.
We launch all our balloons from a giant bag. It makes launching in any wind easy. Here's a video showing the team laying out the bag, filling a balloon inside it and sending it up. YouTube:
Can you really do a Patreon funded space program? I'll let you know, but I did make a video talking about it. Video:
The question was asked (actually several times) 'how do we fund all the research?' I would like to say I'm a billionaire, but not true, We pitch, sell, promote, beg plead and make every penny fly. JPA Store:
In addition to airframes you need to get a little engine work in too. Full video:
Following in Hazels footsteps. Photo of one of our early Mach Glider test flights. The vehicle is flying at just over 70,000 feet. Note we are looking down on the vehicle in flight.
Early version (smaller) of the of the engine intended for use in the Hazel inflatable aircraft. Note the cruise altitude.
Fast balloons. Project Hazel Inflatable wing Mach 4 balloon launch aircraft, 1959. Competitor to A-12. Significant successful test program on engine and airframe, however lost the competition and never built. Declassified 2012. (render copyright JP Aerospace)
Fast balloons. This is Explorer 24. Launched as a pair with Explorer 25 (first dual satellite launch). It was 3.6 meters in diameter. It spent 4 years in orbit gathering data on air density in orbit to pave the way for future satellites.
Then patent for Robert Goddard's winged turbine rocket.
Robert Goddard's nearly forgotten idea for a winged turbine rocket. Propellers down low, rockets up high and wings all the way.
Like Blade Runner, Flight of Space Fox, now has a Directors Cut. Along with serious videos we make fun ones. However, the fun ones also have a serious point. Space is for everyone. Sometimes toy foxes flying to the edge of space can help make that happen.
46 years later and it's still breathtaking. Let's go back.…
Artist concept of an Ascender airship climbing away from Area 42.
Like now in the late 80's launcher concepts were everywhere. This was a Lockheed program to convert Polaris missiles into a small sat launcher. We participated in some payload integration. We were one of their test customers. I seriously need to clean out my desk more often.
As we approach our 200th flight, here's a montage of first 100.
Let your inner space geek show with this awesome "Old School" shirt! Available at the Dark Sky Market:…
Good Morning Earth! Another day working the program.
I'm a big fan of flying back from orbit (and flying to orbit for that matter). 😍…y
Today we install the new valve test on Away 132. It's getting close. This is the valve test on Away 131.
New Video! YouTube: Camera on a Servo at the Edge of Space. We are always trying new things with our cameras. We put a GoPro on a standard RC servo & flew it on our high altitude balloon platform.
Again playing back in the archive. Plasma engine work. This was MHD firing No. 26.
Reaching way back. Early Ascender development. This is the Ascender 18.
We got a article in Min News. The text of the article is strange like they cut it from bits and pieces of non related articles, but they show a lot of our cool pics!…
Back to the space stuff. Have you checked out our YouTube channel? 132 videos and counting.…
Area Trombone, one of our launch sites, at sunset.
Let's not forget the trombones! Me playing trombone at Area Trombone in the high desert.
Violin at sunset at Area 42, our launch site. The desert is not only a great place to fly but a great place to play. (as a fellow team member put it "JP, why don't you play about a mile over that way...")
Not only is the Black Rock desert great for launching balloons, airships and spacecraft, but it the worlds best practice room. #Violin
Random thought. I'll bet there are a lot of violin, violas, cellos, flutes, guitars and pianos out there is the space community. Am I right?
I couldn't resist printing up a violin. It has a good sound but very subdued (making it, for every one who listens to me, their favorite violin). I think I printed the shell at too high a density. Now I just need to find a printable viola design. #jpaerospace #3Dprinting #Violin
Does it feel like a violin morning to you? I does to me. I patched together a $20 violin from a thrift store. It's now my stunt violin for hiking. The sound was tinny. I got sponge balls from a magic shop & popped them inside. Big difference. Not a Stradivarius but not bad.
Gearing up for the next flight means tuning up the recovery vehicles. This is recovery 1, a custom fat tire electric. Tip: Never go on balloon recover without your violin.
Working on the Ascender 175 in the hanger circa 2004.
What this crazy idea looks like. YouTube:
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