Tuesday, March 20, 2012

To The Edge of The Atmosphere

Last Wednesday me and some friends launched a weather balloon to approximately 70,000 ft.  On board was a video camera and a still frame camera set on time laps.  Additionally, we had a GPS enabled phone to inform us of the balloons landing location.

The balloon was a 1980's surplus weather balloon made out of latex.  Next to it is a tank of helium.

Doing a lift test.  From left to right, Phoebe, Pasha and Sergey.

Inside the foam cooler that we used as an insulated box.  Additionally, there is newspaper to hold the cameras in place and insulate more as well as hand warmers to keep things warm at high altitude.

What kind of post would this be if I didn't post a picture of me wearing a hat (not mine).

Our entire crew preparing to move the balloon from the inflation position to the launch position.  Left to right Josie, Phoebe and Sergey (one behind the other), Curtis, Mike, Max and Pasha.

Moving the balloon to launch position (the hill in front of us).  Max is holding part of the line between the box and the balloon.  He is also holding the red parachute to control the balloons decent.  Sergey is holding the box with mylar strips attached both to act as streamers to slow decent and also because they are shiny I would be easier to recover.

The balloon is probably about 5-10 thousand feet in the air at this point.  I couldn't see it through the lens or the screen on my camera, I just pointed in the right direction and shoot.  Nailed it.

Unfortunately, we never re-obtained GPS signal after we lost it on the way up at around 3600 ft.  We believe the balloon came down somewhere between Allentown, PA and Trenton, NJ.  So if you find it let me know.

1 comment:

  1. Any leads? That is a big area to search.

    Perhaps it came down in the water?