Flying Apple Wordmark

Flying Apple Space Technologies (sometimes abbreviated as FAST) is a hobbyist and research group of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas dedicated to launching balloons to high altitudes for scientific research and development purposes.[1] Flying Apple Space Technologies is currently run by Amanda Maxham, a gamma ray astrophysicist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The FAST launches have provided insight into high-atmosphere radiation levels, and the data gathered from the instruments on board FAST balloons is currently being analyzed by physicists. [2] In addition, an algorithm created by the Flying Apple team is being developed and released for researchers to aid in speedy recovery and real-time location analysis of research balloons.


FAST-6 and FAST-7

The sixth and the seventh FAST launches were developed by students enrolled in the UNLV Summer Advanced Gifted Education Program.[3] Andrew Campling, an engineering student at UNLV, served as assistant Launch Coordinator. The launches were conducted at the same location in New Harmony, Utah on Saturday, July 27, 2012 at 10:30 AM PDT. The balloons reached altitudes as high as 93,000 feet. Payload items include a Geiger counter, an Arduino board dedicated to serving as an onboard landing prediction computer, multiple modified Canon point-and-shoot cameras, and multiple high-resolution video cameras. The balloons weigh in at 1600 grams. The payload on each balloon weighs approximately 12 pounds. Data from the FAST-6 and FAST-7 launches is being analyzed, compiled, and will be published in scientific publications.

Media CoverageEdit

Online Media

The launch of balloons FAST-6 and FAST-7 was covered as a story on Kotaku, a gaming news blog[4]. There, the launch of a Space Core plushy from Portal 2 was featured on the cover page.