Australian Weather Balloon Sales

Totex 100 gram Red BalloonWeather Balloon Sales Opening Soon in Australia

We will be setting up an online shop and selling weather balloons, balloon equipment, radio systems and much more for those interested in flying High altitude weather balloons. We will also be selling general comms equipment from time to time and HAM radio equipment to verified HAM radio operators. Keep watching!

This is all about fund raising for Project ThunderStruck. Some of the uses out balloons had been put to include High Altitude flights (of course); projection media (screen); giant tennis balls, Line of site objects for radio towers, internal organs in a giant horror setting; art shapes in an installation; floating sign holders in indoor displays, camera tethers over lakes to measure algae bloom growth and so much more. It seems that you can do almost anything that you want with balloons and we are happy to sell you these latex balloons for any reason.

Note that we are located in Australia and the shop is for the convenience of Australians who may not be able to wait for a delivery from overseas. We will not be the cheapest, but we will be the best and keep only very fresh stock unless otherwise declared and discounted.

Right now I have ample stock of 100 gram Totex Red Balloons ($20 each). Postage is $15 for each 4 balloons delivered in Australia +GST

In 4 weeks, we take delivery of many boxes of brand new Totex weather balloons. If you want an Australian source of weather balloons in small quantities, we are now taking pre-orders for the balloons. Do not wait until they arrive as some sizes may be sold out.

On aIMG_5039bout 24th May 2015 we should have the following beige weather balloons in stock:
500 gram $80 + $20 Australian delivery + GST
800 gram $120 + $20 Australian delivery + GST
1,500 gram $190 + $30 Australian delivery + GST

All are brand new Totex. Our new shop will be:

http://habworx.com

Overseas orders are exempt from GST, but will have an additional handling fee and a higher delivery fee. No details yet as I am focusing on the Australian market. If you have a need for bigger quantities than 3, we can start to discount. We have great prices for orders of 12 with 4 weeks lead time.

Call 0448881101 for details

I also have 2 x 3kg weather balloons. These 3Kg balloons are well over their expiry date (maybe about 3 years old – good for displays ($150 each). If you want any of these you will need to contact me on 0448 881 101.

I will calculate postage by Australia post depending on what you order. eg 500 gram express post bag can handle 4 X 100 gram balloons + bubble wrap and costs $15. The same to New Zealand will be $20 postage; to the US $25 postage and to anywhere else $30 postage.

Balloon specs here: http://www.esands.com/pdf/Meteorology/Totex_TA_Balloons_070213_web.pdf for Totex

We will be supplying NEW Totex weather balloons, although we may have the odd balloon from another supplier for time to time. I can also organise large orders if needed.

At this stage, payment will be via a bank deposit. If you wish to chose PayPal, we will need to charge extra for the sees that they extract! Please call 0448 881 101 for sales. It is essential that you leave a 10 second message with “balloons” as the first word.

We will soon be able to RENT: Helium bottles, (E), regulators, tracking systems including HAM radio APRS transmitters, HAM radio APRS enables handhelds, Filling tubes, Cable ties, hose, bubble wrap, tapes and much more mostly for pickup from Sydney. Shipping can be arranged, but not for the gas bottles.

Totex 100 gram Red Weather Balloon Box

ThunderStruck Mission Logo

Project Thunderstruck Draft A 7OCT2014Project ThunderStruck has a Logo

Story by Robert Brand

Our Logo has been designed by Tim Gagnon and Dr Jorge Cartes

Tim Gagnon is a fine graphic artist from Florida and he has pledged support for Project ThunderStruck by designing the mission patch. If you have any thoughts about his skills, have a look at our mission patch design and his website. I believe that he has done one or two before!

Jason and I absolutely love this design and it incorporates everything that we asked for and more. If you can use Tim to design art for your project, please contract him. You will not be sorry. It is a wise investment!

This is from his website:

Tim Gagnon

KSCartist.com Fine Art & Graphic Design from America’s Space Coast

 Ever since reading about the design of the Skylab 1 patch in an article written by the artist Frank Kelly Freas in 1973, Tim dreamed about creating a patch for a flight crew, to actually use his artistic talent to contribute to the space program.  He came close in 1985 when Bob Crippen invited him to submit designs for the first shuttle mission scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, STS-62A.  That mission was canceled after the Challenger accident.

In 2004 his dream finally came true when astronaut John Phillips selected Tim to design the emblem for the Expedition 11  mission to the International Space Station.  In 2006 he was invited by mission Commander Pam Melroy to submit draft designs for the STS-120 patch. The competition was strong and Tim placed second.  In 2007 Tim was selected by astronaut Eric Boe to design the STS-126  mission emblem. Knowing how much it meant to participate, Tim invited his pen pal Dr. Jorge Cartes of Madrid Spain to join him on this project.  The STS-126 crew was so happy with the result that they recommended Tim and Jorge to the STS-127 crew. In 2008 together with astronaut Tom Marshburn they designed the crew emblem for STS-127. Then later that year Tim and Jorge were asked by astronaut TJ Creamer to design the Expedition 22 and 23 increment mission emblems. 

 In 2007 to raise funds for the Apollo Program Monument the Space Walk of Fame Foundation conducted an online auction. To support this effort Tim donated the creation of an 18” x 24” painting. The winning bidder challenged Tim to create a piece that would illustrate the entire 50 year history of space exploration. They soon realized that the scope of the painting required a larger canvas. After researching the idea it was decided that it could be done on a 48” x 24” canvas. The painting became Past Is Prologue” – Celebrating 50 Years of America in Space.  It was unveiled on Space Day, May 2, 2008 in front of the Apollo Monument in downtown Titusville, FL. The painting will remain on display at the Space Walk of Fame Museum for one year and then be returned to its owner.

 In 2008 keeping with his dedication to support activities that can promote space science education for children, Tim designed a souvenir “mission patch” for the team launching Steve Eves 1:10 scale model of an Apollo/ Saturn V rocket to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11. The patches will be launched aboard this incredible working scale model. The launch date is set for April 25, 2009.

 Tim has also designed a ten-part series of patches to “Celebrate 50 years of America in Space.” The first patch which is the 50th anniversary patch has been shown on the NBC Television Series: “Law & Order SVU” and has also flown in space. The designs which range in size from 4″ to 12″ cover the range of human exploration from Project Mercury to the International Space Station. While not widely distributed they have been well received by all who have seen them.

Tim is currently working with other flight crews and NASA officials on new mission and project emblems

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KSCartist.com Fine Art & Graphic Design from America’s Space Coast. For those that are not from Florida or have not seen a video from a launch across the water to NASA’s facilities – a night launch and the assembly building.

Dr Jorge Cartes

This is his bio as provided by him:

I’m 60 years old. Always lived in Madrid, and I’m married to Olga, a Physician like me, and we have a daughter, Monica who is 24. I have only one brother (Ph. too), my father died in 1979 and my mother in 2004.

I finished my medical studies in 1979 and since then I worked always in Primary Care (Family Practice) and Emergencies (our # 112 is your # 911, I believe). At this time I’m working in a big food and restaurant enterprise which includes your Starbucks Company in Spain.

Since the time of the Apollo 10 I was following all the space launches of NASA and collecting their patches.

Dr Jorge CartesMy wife and I like to travel, and we have been at last ten times in USA, traveling across your big country, and visited all Florida (from Key West to Tallahassee and from KSC to Emerald Coast, and travelling across AL, MS, LA (New Orleans for many days), Baton Rouge, TX (Houston and JSC, of course), AZ (Hoover Dam), NV (Las Vegas), CA (from San Diego to San Francisco and the Wine Valleys), WA (Seattle), AK (cruising from Vancouver to Anchorage -Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Yukon…), IL (Chicago), NJ, NY (I love New York and I had the luck of knowing the WTC just 6 month before the crime), DE, MD, Washington DC and Puerto Rico.

We also have been in Haiti, Dominican Rep., Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Bahamas, Guatemala, Venezuela (my wife was born there), Brazil, Argentina, and in this side, many other countries, (all Europe, some African countries and Turkey) We think that traveling is the best way to understand our world and keep us more and more great and rich in experiences… so I would like to be an astronaut: they can travel where I never would be.

Finally I get a good friend who helped me to get one of my dreams: made a space patch!

Tim and Jorge, again, MANY, MANY thanks for your support and great artwork. This logo will be available from our shop soon and on a number of items such as caps, cups and shirts. We will fly some on ThunderStruck.

Project ThunderStruck Update 1

More News on Project ThunderStruck

Thanks for the support in both contributions of dollars and more importantly at this stage, getting the word out and helping with services. Tim Gagnon is a fine graphic artist from Florida and he has pledge support by offering to design the mission patch. If you have any thoughts about his skills, have a look at his website. I believe that he has done one or two before!

KSCartist.comKSCartist.com Fine Art & Graphic Design from America’s Space Coast

Spending Your Contributions

Now a little detail on how we will spend your contributions. I did say it would cost $80,000 and that was no exaggeration. For a start there is about $10,000 worth of electronics to buy and test for the final flight and that is just the TV link, the telemetry, the control system for flight, cameras, video from the balloon to see the aircraft and the release, the tracking systems for the balloon and the tracking for the aircraft, the balloon flight termination system. The balloon for the final flight will cost over US$10,000 and the helium will cost $3,000. We will have to buy 2 radar transponders to warn aircraft of our position and they cost $2,000 to $5,000 each (and are heavy too).

Every two weeks we will do a weather balloon flight to test the latest systems for Project ThunderStruck and these will cost between $1,000 and $2,000 dollars each and take up our whole weekend traveling and staying in hotels. Petrol alone costs us $300 for the trip and launching and recovering our systems. Below is a video of a launch we did in Croatia. You will see that it is very difficult and requires a lot of materials and you don’t always recover them. So far we have recovered 100% of our payloads, but one day….

phased circula polarised antenna - double mushroomThe GPS tracking system will be special as ordinary systems will not work at supersonic speeds. You need a special clearance to buy these and we need 2 and they cost $6,000 each.

The airframes will be expensive and we will need two. Jason has said that since most of our antennas are internal, the airframe cannot be made from carbon fibre alone or the signals will be severely attenuated. He will also need to have sections of the fuselage and possibly parts of the wing fabricated from a material such as Kevlar.

The picture, right, is an antenna that may be on the aircraft and shows why we must locate it inside of the airframe. It is a little fragile to leave out in a 1,800kph airstream!

 

CASA – Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Our Civil Aviation Safety Authority will also likely want us to travel to a remote part of the country for the big event. That will probably be one of our biggest costs – transporting all that gear and setting it up in the middle of nowhere and that is not a two person activity. We will need transport and accommodation for a huge crowd of people.

I look forward to telling you more about the technical parts of the mission in the next update for Project ThunderStruck.