October 10, 2010 - Pics from Recovered Balloon!
We launched our weather balloon on September 13th, 2010 and it landed 8.5 miles from the summit of Mt. Adams. Some time later, A man from Klickitat, WA named George found the balloon and called the phone number. On October 8, we went to George's house in Klickitat and retrieved the balloon's payload (thanks, George!)
The balloon touched down in an area near Mt. Adams managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Special permission is required to be in the area. George is Native American and visits the area to go hiking and chop wood. That's how he found the balloon.
Now that the payload has recovered and the pictures studied, we know more about the flight. The balloon rose very slowly (370 ft/minute rather than the expected 650 ft/minute). It took 4.6 hours to get to 102,000 feet. When the balloon popped, the parachute didn't open correctly (perhaps because of the very thin air the high altitude), so the payload fell more quickly than expected.
The camera took 2,003 pictures, one every 10 seconds, and the batteries died just a couple of minutes before touchdown. So we didn't get pictures of the landing. But we have lots of fantastic shots from the rest of the flight. The slideshow (see right) has just 61 pictures from the flight. If anybody would like a full hi-res copy of any or all pictures, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you can't see the pictures on the right side of this web page, then click here.