In January 2011, Australia was shocked as Queensland and parts of New South Wales were affected by severe flooding, claiming the lives of many and destroying thousands of homes. Our thoughts went out to those who lost loved ones during this time. A relief fund was set up by the Queensland government to assist with the enormous clean up that followed.

Due to the floods there was some doubt that the Australian Linux Conference, scheduled to be held in Brisbane just weeks after the floods hit would be able to go ahead. Fortunately it did, showing that at least a small part of the world in SE Queensland quickly returned to normallity.

To raise some money for the Queensland Premier's flood relief charity a ProjectHorus flight was staged on Tuesday the 18th of January. The primary payload was a plush Tux (the Linux mascot), as well as a tracking beacon powered by an Arduino micro.

In conjunction with the organisers of the conference, a photo of Tux in (near) space over South Australia taken during the flight as well as Tux himself was auctioned at the conference dinner. Some of the people who signed the photo included Vint Cerf (one of the "fathers" of the Internet), Eric Allman (of "sendmail" fame) and Linus Torvalds (the initiator of the Linux OS kernel). Over $23,000AUD was raised as a result, all going directly to the QLD Premier's Flood Relief appeal.

The presentation at the conference dinner as well as the signed photo of Tux and Tux himself can be seen here:

If you would like to find out more about ProjectHorus here in South Australia, please visit the project website:

More information about the flight of Horus 14 can be seen here:

The flight details:-
Flight Designation: Horus 14
Date: January 18th 2011
Altitude: ~30km
Payload: Tux the Penguin - the Linux mascot :-) - and an Arduino powered ModSenDat telemetry package

Music by: Steve Tilleli - "Flight Path" from the album "Field of Dreams"
Licensed under:
Available from:
Camera: GoPro Hero HD
Editing: Adobe Premiere CS5

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Grant Willis (VK5GR) Plus

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