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:

2 replies
  1. Terry L. Bruno
    Terry L. Bruno says:

    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,


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