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Landing & Retrieval

The parachute slowed down the fall sufficiently for the capsule to stay together in one piece.  The Motorola i290 managed to send out its gps location before landing. Although our the electronics suffered no damage (low impact velocity), the cell phone antenna burrowed into the ground upon landing, preventing further transmission of gps location.

We were also lucky that the capsule landed in a soft-earthed construction field with a clear view of the sky. Retrieval would definitely have been a much more difficult process had our device landed in a lake or in the forest.

Found it! Simply amazing

Found it! Simply amazing

making sure the camera is ok

Making sure the camera is ok

Inspecting the capsule

Inspecting the capsule

checking the exciting photos!
Checking the exciting photos!



150 comments to Landing/Retrieval

  • Obivously

    You know they should’ve just taken that 150 dollars and built a space elevator and taken the pictures themselves.. Risk free!

  • Scott

    A parachuted 800g mass isn’t going to kill you. You guys should be much more worried about stray bullets that are fired into the air. They have been proven to kill and they are a lot less difficult to see coming at you than a bright white parachuted box.

    Good work team! Fantastic job!

  • Z-man

    Wow. Amazing project… I can’t believe the stupidity of some of the Flat Earth Safety Trolls on here. Just because it does not come as an attorney-approved, litigation-proof package, it can’t be done? Wow. With thinking like that it’s amazing that we didn’t give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

    As an airline pilot I have seen plenty of “rafts” of balloons up at around 10,000 feet that pose more of a danger than this thing falling under a parachute; the only reason those balloons pose any danger that I can figure out is that they scare the crap out of me when I close on them at 300+ knot and don’t see them until I’m less than a mile away.

    Galileo spent his life under “house arrest” instead of giving in to the naysayers of the “church”… great minds are always persecuted by those who are of lesser intelligence and ability, and those too scared to admit that the earth revolves around the sun. So it has been and so it will ever be.

    Great job! What’s next?

  • Neil

    Ummmm the Germans didn’t bomb Pearl Harbor.

  • Peter

    And apparently you didn’t see Animal House.

  • LaunchMeAwayScottie

    How accurate was the Wyoming Balloon Trajectory Forecast? We’re planning on launching in the 2 weeks and I’m wondering how close was it for you? We’re having to avoid air force bases, lakes and mountains. We won’t be using a cell phone for our gps data due to the lower cell reception in the desert areas of the west… We’re actually thinking of driving over to Wyoming to launch.

  • Tory-Kale

    I would recommend having a budget of $160 and using $10 to buy a pair of shoes…especially when recovering capsules around construction areas! =)

    • Diana Heiss

      I also noticed the lack of footwear. I can only assume there is a method to his madness. Or he was so excited about retrieving the camera, he forgot his shoes at home!

  • wayner8088

    Nice attention you guys are getting on CNN. I wish *I* had a digital camera, cell phone and GPS when I was in college.

    Maybe for your next project strap the camera on the belly of the basket and fly it over Russia xD No seriously, how about using movie mode and shoot real time video.

    How big was the memory card if it’s shooting one photo every five seconds?!

  • Anthony H.

    Poor students indeed, one is barefoot! Congrats on your successful space launch!

    Anthony Hernandez, Dallas, TX

  • George

    Great Job Guys. I’ll send you the next $200.00 to go even higher!

    As far as safety the FFA seems to think it is fine to send objects afloat with a Ballon as long as the object weighs less then 4 pounds.

    if everybody waited for things to be safe before they did them this world would still be living in the dark ages. How many time do you think the caveman burned his finger while experimenting with FIRE???

    Keep it going Higher Guys

  • Calvin

    definitely an amazing job guys!

    just out of curiosity, might you be using the G1 phone? That’s what I’ve got!

  • Sciencedude

    Garmin (I think) manufactures a combination GPS and handheld radio. I bet some programing geeks out there could figure out a way to have this device radio its location to another radio hooked to a computer. I bet this would provide a way to get GPS coordinates for the entire flight. Good work guys, the first response of most people to a new idea is to dismiss it as stupid or impossible. Don’t let the short- sightedness of others stop you from developing new ideas.

  • David

    Great job guys. Keep dreaming and doing. Don’t let governmemts, big bisiness hold you down or tell you you can’t do what you want to do. They have 99.9% of us convinced/affraid things are to hard to do, they control too much of ourselves and our lives already, resulting in not having enough people trying what you two accomplished.
    Love the shots!

  • Amazing! You guys are inspiring. Keep dreaming and following your dreams.
    Please ignore the critics and ankle biters….

    I would be interested to know what your next project is.
    Stabilized case… look down cameras and perhaps a higher altitude?

    Don’t stop. Best of luck and thank you for sharing the photos.


  • Brittany

    That is totally awesome!!

  • HanZ

    just out of curiosity, are you guys driving a Jetta??

  • Willie J.

    Awesome job. Q: what was the distance from the launch point to the recovery point? Did it land in Worcester as predicted? Were you on the move (tracking the descent by GPS) after the balloon burst? Or did you wait until touchdown?

  • Tony

    You inspired me! My Physics students and I are doing it! I’ll let you know what happens.

  • LaunchMeAwayScottie

    @ Willie J. I think it was ~23 miles away. You can see this in their kml file…

  • Andrew

    Here’s another option for GPS tracking:

    A wiki would be great to share ideas.

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