JP Aerospace PongSat

by kj6epl, published

JP Aerospace PongSat by kj6epl Dec 12, 2012

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34104Views 2035Downloads Found in Physics & Astronomy


If you've ever wanted to fly an experiment to the edge of space, this is your chance! PongSat by JP Aerospace is the World's Space Program! A Pongsat is an experiment stuffed inside a ping pong ball, and we fly them for FREE! Sky's (no-- SPACE) is the limit! What will you fly?

Update: By the way, this is an on-going program, not a one time event. We do routine PongSat flights every few months. The PongSat program itself is several years old, and will likely continue for as long as JP Aerospace is in business. So even though this "thing" was posted a couple years ago, it is still very much alive and well. Make yours today!


  1. Read the getting started pdf: http://www.jpaerospace.com/pongsat/PongSGuide-n.PDF

  2. Create your experiment per the guidelines in the pdf.

  3. Cut open a ping pong ball and stuff your experiment inside (or 3D print one using the supplied model for extra geek appeal).

  4. Fill out the form on the back page of the pdf from #1.

  5. Mail us your PongSat with the form from #4, and we'll fly your experiment on our next flight! Our balloon flights routinely reach an altitude of 90,000 to 100,000 feet!

Note: although the PongSat program is focused toward education, anyone anywhere may participate, student or not. The purpose of the program is learning by doing: an opportunity to get hands on with space easily.

Also, the model is provided for you to customize for your experiment, such as adding circuit board, switch, and sensor mounts. The only modification not allowed is making the diameter larger than 40mm, at least not without special permission.


JP Aerospace home page: http://jpaerospace.com/

JP Aerospace blog: http://jpaerospace.com/blog/

JP Aerospace on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jpaerospace

PongSat home page: http://www.jpaerospace.com/pongsat/index.htm

PongSat on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/PongSat/250288635034145

PongSat on Space.com: http://www.space.com/17589-pongsat-ping-pong-balls-space-balloon.html

PongSat on Wired: http://www.wired.com/design/2012/07/pongsats/

PongSat on NBC: http://dailynightly.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/11/15848691-learn-more-about-jp-aerospace?lite

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JP Aerospace PongSat by kj6epl is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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Wouldn't a truncated octohedron / tetra kaidecahedron allow similar volume to surface area ratio but much better packing ratio if you have a cluster of them inside a box/ container?

It would be more spatially efficient, but you can buy a ping-pong ball just about anywhere. The vast majority of pong sat participants don't have access to a 3D printer. You can't buy a properly sized octohedron at your local retail store.

Are the satellites kept on the balloon or dropped?

Aug 8, 2014 - Modified Aug 8, 2014
kj6epl - in reply to zpj

They fly via balloon to 80,000-100,000 feet where the balloon bursts and they drop. This blog post contains a photo showing a 3D flight path in Google Earth from a recent mission: http://jpaerospace.com/blog/?p=5864 A flight is typically 2 hrs climbing and about 30 min descent. We have been flying pongsat missions every few months, so make yours and send it our way!

chaffeem: Our next scheduled flight will be in April. However, that is tentative, and things like weather, funds, and pop-up sponsors wanting a flight tomorrow could change that.

FowThingies: there actually have been some pokeball colored pongsats.

When is the next flight going to be?  I can't find it on the website you provided.

Pokemon - Gotta Catch 'm all!

Nice project ;)

Very cool. Keep up the great work. This will help define the path for many kids I'm sure.

Hey Drew,
Don't forget the quick shout out to your sister program!