After we drew out the design and finalized it, we had to figure out what materials to use.  In the beginning, we used PVC pipe as the structure of the spacecraft, but after we built it, we found out that it was way too heavy.  We ended up using the shafts of some slightly bent archery arrows, which were very light and strong.  We used thin plywood on the corners because it was strong and we could connect things like our camera, flight computer, and GPS unit to it easily.

We also used a lot of rope to attach they payload to the parachute and the balloon.  The payload refers to everything underneath the balloon.  That’s what you weigh when you are doing the weight and lift calculations.  We forgot to weigh the final payload before launch, so our predictions were a little bit off.

Here is a list of all the items we needed to build our Loki Lego Launcher:

  • Balloon
  • Parachute
  • Rope/string
  • Three arrow shafts
  • 1/4″ plywood
  • Eagle Flight Computer with SD card
  • AA Battery pack
  • Temperature/Pressure Sensor
  • Two GoPro cameras and mounts and batteries
  • SPOT Trace GPS tracker and batteries
  • Metal ring, screws, tape, zip ties, hot glue, craft stick, wire, rubber bands
  • Picture of Loki
  • Lego R2-D2 minifigure