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Flight Pictures

The GPS cell phone we used to track the location of our vehicle lost reception soon after launch (at an elevation of ~2500 feet). Although we had expected to lose contact with the balloon, the altitude of “last-report” was much lower than expected.

After loss of electronic contact, we could continued to track the capsule visually for about half an hour until the glare of the sun prevented further viewing.

GPS information recorded in the flight logs reported a maximum altitude of 19,853 feet due to software limitations.  With some simple approximations (linear extrapolation of velocity – a fair assumption justified after looking through flight trajectories of similar balloons), we estimated that our balloon achieved an altitude of about 93000 feet before returning to the earth. The balloon’s ascent took about 4 hours, and its descent took 40 minutes.

 

Picture from 93000 feet up

Earth from 93000 feet. Long Island in the background.

 

 

glowing atmosphere

Glowing from the sun

 

 

Balloon popped at around 93000 feet, beginning its 40 minute descent

Our balloon popped at around 93000 feet, beginning its 40 minute descent

 

 

Balloon w/ the earth as a background

The falling balloon

 

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