Colin Rich, Creator of Pacific Star II—Tinkerer, Astronaut

Colin Rich, creator of Pacific Star I and II

Colin Rich created Pacific Star I and II out of boredom as much as anything else. An underemployed camera assistant who recently moved to southern California, Colin researched sending a camera into space to photograph earth from the upper atmosphere. Choosing to launch a radiocom (the proper term for a balloon launched into space) rather than a rocket, Colin set about assembling and launching Pacific Star I.

There were several obstacles to overcome, including: 1) weight (it had to be under 4 lbs to meet FAA regulations) 2) power source to power the cameras 3) temperature (Pacific Star had to endure temperatures of -60 degreees F) 4) Global Positioning Systems 5) altimeter 6) navigation and 7) parachute deployment.

Pacific Star II, the second flight, achieved an altitude of 124,000 feet above Oxnard, CA while it took some breathtaking pictures and video.

Listen to the entire interview of how Colin achieved this accomplishment:

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2 Responses


GREAT PROGRAM!!! I listened to the whole thing, and was impressed with the professional sound and quality of the programming! Very well done… reminds me of when I had my own ‘radio station’ on Adak, AK. It was only 1 watt, but had a large antenna array, and could be heard all over the island. Was pretty popular, as I didn’t use ‘block’ programming like the AFRTS station (the only other radio station on the “rock”).

Really enjoyed your show… when will you be going to FM? Sirius??

Best wishes,



Thanks for the kind words, Terry. You’ll have to tell me about your broadcasting career in Alaska some time.

As far as FM and TV are concerned, there are two interesting developments coming up soon. First, in February 2011, the royalties on music played on the radio will increase by double. That means many weak FM radio stations will find broadcasting music unaffordable. They will search for new formats and the least expensive format to implement is Talk Radio. I anticipate you’ll see many new talk radio stations appearing on FM early next year. That’ll open up new possibilities for listeners and hosts alike.

The latest development in TV is Internet TV. Ventura is fortunate to have an Internet TV station, KADY-TV. I dabble in Internet television. Check out my interviews at:,, or

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