Friday, March 8, 2013

To space and back

A fellow named David Windestål, from Sweden, has attempted a project that I always wanted to do.  We've hooked sensors and radios to a balloon and sent it up to the edge of space, which is incredibly cool.  At around 100,000 ft up, the balloon bursts and our payload came back down to earth on a parachute.  I always thought it would be cool to fly back down from up there instead of just floating down on a parachute.  Well, David hung a remote controlled glider to the balloon when he sent it up.  The glider was equipped with a live video feed so that he could remotely pilot it on the way back down.  Unfortunately, things didn't go quite according to plan, and he wasn't able to get the plane back to his location, however, he did recover it and has some incredible GoPro footage to prove it.  Well done!

I don't know about you, but I think it is incredibly cool that we have gotten to the point where individuals can send gadgets up to the edge of space.  We aren't talking NASA here guys.  We are talking about hobbyists who do this stuff because its fun.  That's right.  It's not motivated national pride or a space race against Sputnik.  It's not funded by a bottomless pit of tax payer money and an endless supply of PhDs from the best schools.  This was accomplished by a smart guy who lives near a big lake in Sweden with the courage to go try something cool... just because...  Something about that is truly awesome and inspiring.

The technical details of the project are spelled on out David's web site,