The balloon launched successfully at 9:36am and was recovered in perfect condition 154 miles southeast of the launch site at 1:55pm! The camera was still taking photos at one minute intervals over 4 hours after the intervelometer was started, and it grabbed this great photo of all of us checking out our baby!
I haven’t begun to process all of the photos, GPS data, sensor data, and video files, but here is a slide show of all the photos that the camera captured.
Every aspect of the mission went perfectly to plan except that the balloon traveled significantly farther than expected. Check out this Google Earth image to see the discrepency. One theory is that the parachute was oversized which resulted in a slow descent and and correspondingly long lateral drift. According to the GPS, the balloon was moving for 3 hours and 42 minutes at an average speed of 41.5 miles per hour and maximum speed of 95.4 mph! If you want to take a closer look at the GPS data, you can view the comparison in Google Earth by opening this KMZ file.
Stay tuned for a video documentary, photos from the ground, and geotagged photos in Google Earth!