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Recovery of the Last GPSL Flight


L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

I picked up the balloon that Mike and I launched (and Jim also, he had a screamer on the payload string). It landed 1/2 mile southwest of the intersection of US 50 and Essex Heights road. The landing was about 10 feet away from a corn field, so if we had landed in that, recovery would have been via combine in another month of two.

The landing site is 2 miles at a heading of 60 degrees from the last reported position of Mike's tracker (which was at 16,000 feet at the time).

We flew a 3,000 gram balloon and about 8 pounds of payload. I can't get Mike's tracking data off APRS.fi anymore, so I can't get an ascent rate for the early flight until I get home. My video camera ran out of memory after 54 minutes, so I can't get a time of flight. I hope I can get at least an ascent time when I get home from the geiger counter data. 

However, it looks like we landed southwest of most flights. The expected maximum altitude was predicted to be over 100,000 feet and I think the location of the landing site bears that out. 

I'm attaching a few screen prints from the video. The first two show other balloons at launch. The last one was taken at 54:38 after the launch, so it might be around 70,000 feet.   

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Dr. L. Paul Verhage
Near Space Evangelist