Nathan Bergey: High Powered Rockets and Dreams of Space

Learn just why it's so hard to get to space, and follow along some of the trials and successes of Portland State Aerospace Society (PSAS) through the years. Then explore some of the astronomy potential of high altitude platforms like sounding rockets and day-dream about the day when we can all afford our own backyard space telescope.

Nathan Bergey is freelance data scientist and programmer who has spent thelast several years helping build Portland's own home grown space program with the Portland State Aerospace Society (PSAS). He has a life-long passion for all things space.

Nathan grew up wanting to be an astronaut, studied physics and astronomy at Appalachian State University before moving to Portland and becoming Portland State Aerospace Society's chief rocket scientist. In his free time he works on yet more space things, from visualizations of NASA spacecraft to building lights that are triggered by the International Space Station.

From humble beginnings as a couple of Portland State undergraduates bored with their labs, Portland State Aerospace Society (PSAS) has grown into a serious group of engineers, scientists, and aerospace enthusiasts. Over the last decade PSAS has become one of the most advanced amateur rocketry clubs in the world. Working on a shoestring budget they have launched some impressive technology into the air high above the central Oregon desert at Brothers, Oregon.

PSAS wants to know what it takes to put something in space. To date the only objects humans have put into orbit around Earth have ridden there on top of multi-million dollar vehicles, and until just recently only a handful of nation-states that have been able to build such programs. We think we can do better.

Learn just why it's so hard to get to space, and follow along some of the trials and successes of PSAS through the years. Then explore some of the astronomy potential of high altitude platforms like sounding rockets and day-dream about the day when we can all afford our own backyard space telescope.

The Portland State Aerospace Society (PSAS) website can be found at: psas.pdx.edu