Mark Conner N9XTN
NSTAR 18-B (paired with NearSys) and Nebraska Space Grant launched this morning at the Nebraska Star Party south of Valentine NE. At about 14,000 ft, NSTAR suddenly began descending and landed only a few miles away from the launch site.
In talking with the NSG crew on the way home, they looked at their camera footage and it was clear to them that their payload collided with our balloon at around that altitude.
Here is the track of the two balloons:
I think this could be a first for an ARHAB/ARHAB collision (beyond the trivial case of right after launch, perhaps).
I don't yet have the video because there is only weak and low-bandwidth cell coverage at the Nebraska Star Party site. I'll post links once the video is available.
73 de Mark N9XTN