@UCSD: An Alumni Publication

An Alumni Publication   Archive vol1no3 Contact
Up Front: Letters to and from the editor
Campus Currents: UCSD Stories
Shelf Life: Books
Cliff Notes: Student life and sports
Class Notes: Alumni profiles
Looking Back: Thoughts on UCSD
Credits: Staff and Contributors
Power to the People
Reconnecting, Reminiscing, and Rocking the Night Away
Age of Avatars
Making Waves
Triton Cockroaches in Space
Scripps and Google Earth
Revenge is Sweet
Roger & Me
Digital Hair Day

Features May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Triton Cockroaches in Space


The mission: to boldly go where no cockroach had gone before. And the mission was accomplished by a group of UC San Diego freshmen engineering students when they sent a weather balloon soaring up to 85,000 feet above the Salton Sea. The cockroaches were placed in a variety of small bottles that were first tested to ensure the cockroaches would survive the cold and near vacuum without bursting.  The experiment came off without a hitch–all the cockroaches survived the cold (-40 F),
low air pressure and radiation.

The ride was part of an experiment for an Introduction to Aerospace Engineering class taught by John Kosmatka, a professor in the Department of Structural Engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering. It was the first time a UCSD weather balloon launch included other payloads and experiments, such as a digital camera to take images from space
and temperature monitoring tools for future investigation of weather patterns and air pollution control.

The data collected from the experiment will be used for

future weather balloon launches and the students are thinking about creating a UCSD weather balloon club.

Contributors to Making Waves: Jesse Alm '11, Tiffany Fox, Raymond Hardie, Daniel Kane, Andrea Siedsma


Weather Balloons


San Diego, CA, March 12, 2009...
“UC San Diego gives freshman the opportunity to participate in great projects like this,” he added.  “When it was first announced that we would be doing this project this year, I was very satisfied that I chose UCSD's aerospace program over some of the other options I had coming into college. I mean, just look at some of the pictures our on-board cameras took and tell me that isn't cool.” (source)