The Geocaching Amateur Interorbital Alliance (GAIA)

We are an alliance of geocachers that sent a Geocache into space! (in this case, Near Space) On 18 December 2010 @ 933AM EST, we launched the third Geocache in space, but the first to represent the East Coast and tied to a launch event. (GC1BE91 currently on the ISS and GC1G3H2 on the West Coast, currently disabled, were our predecessors). At the monumentous Event Horizon! (GC2JPJK) on Saturday, December 18, 2010, 40+ people gathered in the cold (then wet) winter morning and watched GAIA launch Sputnik 2010 (GC2JPJJ) into the heavens! Included with the Geocache were two video cameras (Scott's personal Kodak Zi6 HD camcorder and Steve's Samsung Epic 4G android phone), one still camera (Steve's Motorola Backflip) and a Spot 2 Messenger (for live GPS positional tracking). And thanks to the Groundspeak founders (Jeremy, Bryan and Elias), we sent up 3 trackable Founders' Gnome Tags with the geocache! (in addition to Scott's Laika TB and Steve/Tanya's Shooting Stars Geocoin) After reaching an impressive altitude of 101,001 feet up, the balloon burst and Sputnik 2010 drifted back down to earth and landed at Plymouth, NC nearly 124 miles away from the launch site and became the first East Coast Geocache into space AND back and is available for logging right where it landed.

 ----> Check out the full-length 'Sputnik 2010 : A Geocache Odyssey' MOVIE! <----
Click on The "MOVIE" tab at the top of the page, preview it below or click HERE
             Sputnik Odyssey (the trailer)

Sputnik Odyssey by Striza


A video by our productions team member Alton (Striza), is now available for viewing! Check it out above or go to the following Youtube link:

Be sure to visit the Gallery (tab at top of page) to see all the released videos!


Sputnik2010 was featured on the following sites:

Podcacher (Aug 2011)            PCWorld (Sep 2011)

Neatorama (Dec 2010)         SDX-Developers (Dec 2010)

Latitude 47 (Dec 2010)

Sputnik 2010: (the Movie) Low quality preview


Be sure to visit the Gallery (tab at top of page) to see all the newly released photos! Or go straight to the various photo sections:


Scott (e6c) was interviewed by on Aug 7, 2011 about Sputnik2010. Catch the interview HERE:

  Sputnik2010's Projected Path (click to enlarge)

The Balloon Trajectory Plotter (courtesy of Near Space Ventures) calculated the projection based on weight of our payload and rig, size of the balloon and parachute and real-world weather data at the time to determine ascent, burst and then descent. If you look at the tracked flight path (to the right), they are very close. The difference between the predicted and actual landing site was only 11.552 miles apart. That's a pretty close prediction.

 Sputnik2010's Tracked Path (click to access)
You can now view Sputnik 2010's flight data in 3D!
(you must install Google Earth or the plugin to view in 3D)
Flight data was put together from the Spot 2 Messenger, EXIF data on photos from the Epic and Backflip and GPSlogger data from the Epic and Backflip, then processed using EOSS's Balloon Track program (that helped to calculate the burst altitude and filled in the blanks on various minute marks where GPS data wasn't available). The information was then processed through GPS Visualizer ( giving you the ability to see all the data from a 3D perspective. (The timeline may show 4-6AM instead of 9-11AM, that's because of -5 UTC that I set wrong, will fix it later.. oops)

Sputnik 2010 Flight Data