Play Video about High Rack holding PongSats 100,000 feet above Earth

Beyond Geek Web Extra: PongSat

Web Extra

JP Aerospace wanted to open space up to everyone. They came up with a program that would cost nothing for a budding scientist to fly an experiment to the edge of space. The only catch was it has to fit inside a ping pong ball. Since the PongSat program was started, they have flown thousands of ping pong ball “satellites” into near space.

Want to launch your own science experiment to the edge of space? Then visit JP Aerospace and join the space program that is open to anyone.

My name is John Powell. I’m the president of JP Aerospace and I build and fly spaceships.

There’s a lot of groups that are willing to open up space for everyone. And the idea is once they build the spaceship, they can put a lot of people in it, and that’s when they’re going to start doing that.

We wanted to start doing that right from the very beginning. One of our main missions is the education program, the PongSat program, where we fly all the student experiments. We literally fly hundreds of them on every mission. We don’t charge a thing for them. Anybody that sends us a ping pong ball. We take it and fly it.

The first question that always comes to people’s minds is what can you put in the ping pong ball? You know, that’s there’s nothing really worthwhile because it’s so small. We are always amazed and floored by the stuff we get inside the ping pong balls.

I have third graders running their own space program and not studying about a space program, but actually flying things to the edge of space and hard vacuum with radiation, doing just as sophisticated stuff as advanced atmospheric researchers.

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