About Us

Eldorado Space Cowboys
The 2015-2016 Eldorado Space Cowboys

The Eldorado Space Program is a group of students designing, building, and programming a space probe from scratch. The program was originally founded in 2013 with the goal of simply going to space and back. Since then, students have created a world class program. The current electronic package features Raspberry Pi, two Arduinos, two temperature sensors, two cameras, a 9-axis inertial measurement unit and a GPS. One of the most unique parts of the program is telemetry that is maintained through most of the flight. Telemetry is maintain through a radio on the package and an automatic steerable antenna on the ground. The automatic tracking antenna was programmed and developed by the team.

A View from Space
This photo was taken by the camera aboard the probe. It was taken at 120,000 feet above the surface of the Earth. In the photo you can see the blackness of space, the curvature of the earth, and the sun in the background.

The Team consists of Austin Albin, Will Mynatt, Chase Mertz, Noah Sorrells , and Jack Griffin. Jack is new to the team. The rest of the team is returning from the previous year. The students are under the instruction of Paul McWhorter.

Austin Albin is a junior at Eldorado High School. He specializes in RF systems and networking. Austin is adept at programming and instrumentation as well. Last year, Austin used his circuity skill to build a colloidal silver generator. Austin currently holds an Extra class Amateur Radio licence under the call sign of KE5KK. In his free time he enjoys flying drones, talking on the radio, and mission work.

Will Mynatt is a senior at Eldorado High School. Will is an expert in programming, instrumentation, and 3D visuals. He has developed a satellite based tracking system that will provide real time position of the space flight on Google Earth. Will currently holds a General class Amateur Radio licence under the call sign of KF5ZPQ. While not at school, Will enjoys playing Football and Baseball. He also enjoys helping out on the family ranch. 

Chase Mertz is a senior at Eldorado High School. Chase is the first woman to successfully complete the demanding requirements of the Engineering II curriculum as well a complete a year as a Space Cowboy. Chase is an accomplished programmer, and computation specialist. In addition, Chase brings much needed organization and social skills to the team. Chase is responsible for managing activities in the mission control facility on launch day. She also serves as the face and the voice of the effort during the live stream broadcast of the launch. Chase currently holds a Technician class Amateur Radio licence under the call sign of KG5KKX. In her free time Chase enjoys playing basketball as well as competing in high school rodeo.

Noah Sorrells is a senior at Eldorado High School. Noah is a seasoned programmer and robotics expert. Last year, Noah built and programmed a robot that could sort a bucket of Legos based on color. Noah is also an expert on the ROS (Robotic Operating System). Noah currently holds a Technician class Amateur Radio licence under the call sign of KG5KKV. Noah enjoys playing guitar, baritone, and enjoys acting.

Jack Griffin is a sophomore at Eldorado High School. Jack is an outstanding programmer. He specializes in the Linux operating system as well as the Raspberry Pi. Last year, Jack used his skill to build a servo system with the capability of remote access. Jack currently holds a General class Amateur Radio licence under the call sign of KG5NPX. When Jack is not at school, he enjoys playing sports and competing in high school rodeo.

Mr.Paul McWhorter is a teacher at Eldorado High School. He teaches math and engineering as well as the Space Program. Mr.McWhorter is a former electrical engineer. He currently holds an Extra class Amateur Radio license under the call sign of KF5ZBY. In his free time he enjoys mission work and hydroponic gardening.

The League of Extraordinary Space Cowboys