PWR IN SPACE

About bricks that flew into the space

Aut. Barbara Glebocka

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PHOTOS : PWr in Space

Where did the idea of sending Lego into space came from? 

 

 

It was not an idea to send these particular bricks and not others. First of all, we wanted to send out a general message. The idea itself was born in our heads in 2019 during the Warsaw Motor Show, but it went into the so-called drawer then. Then came 2020, and our business as Śniadanie & Gablota is mainly based on bringing people together for a morning meal, so imagine how difficult decisions we made when cancelling new events at the beginning of last year. Then a bit of a summer breather and optimism, so we managed to organize several meetings, including probably the most important one for us, because it was our first abroad. In Berlin we were very successful and carried away by this euphoria we planned a huge end of season party with Maestro Robert Makłowicz.
A beautiful venue in the Pass Palace near Warsaw, involvement of great partners, the biggest undertaking we have ever undertaken... and a week before the event a new lockdown. We were simply enraged. We knew it was safer for people and it just had to be that way, we're not entering into any polemics here, but you can't avoid ordinary human disappointment and bitterness in such situations.
In a few hours a great deal of work and energy went into the bin. It was also a time when Poland was get- ting hot, with strikes, protests and generally many frustrated people
at every turn. These emotions were also shared by us in private. And then, during a conversation with Tomasz Kamiński, president of Schnug Polska, who supports us in many activities, he asked us: why don't we do something else together, something that will replace the end of the season for all of us? Bang! Time to take an old project out of the wardrobe!

 

ŚnG is famous for being a very open event - we say we're for everyone. Any car fan can come to our events, as long as they treat the other person with respect. That is why we host a variety of interesting things, including art exhibitions. We bring together very different people with a common passion for motoring. There are no tickets, no registration, no lining up of people. Someone once said that this is a kind of car morning Woodstock, and indeed it is. I remember very well how a couple of bloggers visited us once, I think the film is still on YouTube, and they were disgusted with the cars parked crookedly. That's who we are! And when you think about all that, and now imagine a situation in which you have to cancel plenty of meetings with people you really like... it is under such circumstances that projects like ŚnG STRATOS 2020 are born! Six plastic people, two cars and a lot of food at 31,500m. It was our symbolic meeting across divisions, bans, arguments, protests and brawls. You can hear on the film how beautiful the silence was for our team, who had a carpet of clouds at their feet and only the vast blackness of space above their heads. There are many symbols there, for example the Corvette C3 was there because that's the car NASA astronauts were given for their participation in space missions. The pink figure is Mrs. Basia, because nothing would work without women! The white figure is the Honorary Patron of our mission - Tomasz Kozłowski, who is currently preparing to break the world record in the highest parachute jump from 45km! There are several symbols there, but above all we wanted to send one message - let's meet across the divides! 

 

 

How much time did it take you to prepare the project? 

 

The preparations took us just over a month. Everything went really smoothly, but that was only because there were people in the team who knew exactly what to do and had experience in this type of undertaking. Without their participation, it would not have been possible in such a short time.   

How many people worked on the project? 

 

There were a lot of people involved in STRATOS 2020. I think about ten, but the key to the whole project was Konrad from PoliWRocket and his experienced technical team. Konrad is also the person who was the bridge between our ideas and the technical reality and laws of physics. Funnily enough, we met through Instagram. One evening we literally told Konrad about our idea in two sentences, and the next morning we were already ordering the first elements for the mission. Sometimes you just meet someone and you know it's going to work. We also have to mention Norbert from Blazed Vision, who edited a great video of the whole action for us and Filip Załógu, a fantastic artist, who made a poster promoting the whole event for us for the second time in a row.  

 

 

What emotions accompanied you at the moment when your project took off into the air? 

 

Emotions? I mean, you're sending something into the STRATOSphere! It's a phenomenal feeling and in its own way unique, because even if we combined my circle of friends and yours, probably none of these people has ever sent anything up so high. Maybe for the PoliWRocket team it was less exciting, because they've done it a few times before, besides working with rockets is their everyday life, but you could see that they have a lot of fun doing it too! 

You’ve had some adventures in the course of the project. Could you tell us more about that ? 

 

You’ve had some adventures in the course of the project. Could you tell us more about that ?

Yes, it is true, there were adventures. Technology has a way of failing even the best prepared. The whole mission was supposed to take maximum 3 hours and the balloon was supposed to land about 100km from the launch site. And that's exactly what didn't happen. The ascent alone, without descent, took 3.5h! The balloon, blown by the wind at almost 200km/h, landed 250km from Wroclaw. And we lost all GPS, so the balloon landed somewhere on marshes near Ligęzów and that's all we knew. We reached the place late in the evening and immediately started searching for the mission, even one of us fell into the river during the rescue operation, but to no avail. A little saddened by the whole situation, we returned home. This is where social media, specifically facebook, came to the rescue again. We had calculated the zone where the balloon could probably land. It was quite a difficult swampy area. We published our story with a map on a local community group, and a few days later two hunters, Mr. Luke and Mr. Jacek, got back to us that they had found the whole mission! Not a single crew member was missing and so everyone made it home safely.   

 

 

What do you plan to do next? 

 

We never run out of ideas for new projects. Suffice it to say that the STRATOS SnG took place shortly after we had circumnavigated the whole of Poland by car in 40h and 43min. And as for the skies. I think that 31,5km is a good result, so now it's either space, that is at least 70km higher than our current altitude, or some kind of rocket. We need to talk to PoliWRocket! 

 

the PWr in Space scientific association. The main goal of the project is to build rockets for the Spaceport America Cup international competition organized by ESRA (The Experimental Sounding Rocket Association). ESRA is a non-profit organization established in 2003 to support and pro- mote engineering knowledge and expertise in rocketry. We have very extensive plans in our team. We have recently planned to test a solid fuel engine and at the moment we are designing

a liquid fuel engine. We are also at the stage of sub-de- signing another hybrid fuel engine and we are developing the composite winder we have built, on which

the first winding tests have already taken place. In addition, we are starting to work on the design of a new rocket to be landed at the next competition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you 

 

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