The Space Balloon Experiment

I spent the bulk of today with Nishanth, Carlos, Nick Pisarro, and Sai. We went to Tracy, California. Or, more specifically, we went to 37.642266, -121.395005.

Today was the launch date of project “Space Dust”, where we were going to launch a weather balloon carrying a payload with cameras + other sensors to an altitude of roughly 100,000 feet to record footage.

I brought up the idea of this project after reading guides on how to do it, and I felt it would be a great way to do something fun and that involves teamwork.

The planning for the project wasn’t as thorough as I had hoped, and with a project this complex this was a dangerous sign. Nonetheless, I think we got pretty far. We had everything set up – filling the balloon, securing the payload, electronics, spot tracker, radar reflector, etc. Everything came to a halt though when we realized that the helium we had wasn’t enough to lift the payload. Oops.

On a related note, I tried out the new Spectacles that the team at Twitter had (very thankfully!) gifted me to document this experience. I must say, it’s a pretty dandy piece of hardware. One thing I learned from this is that I need to say the word “alright” a lot less often.

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