A bright Saturday morning in Fall 2016. This was our first launch. We didn't realize how fickle the winds would be. We were happy to get a balloon going up.
Launch took place in front of family and friends at 7:22am in our school parking lot.
This was our FIRST FLIGHT!!! And we recovered it!!!!!
We plotted out the course and we're outside the car waiting. Both GPS transmitters had failed, so we were only relying on the projected landing location. After 30 minutes of staring into the blue sky, one transmitter came low enough to regain a GPS lock and transmit its location. We were 30 miles off! The team loaded back into the cars and drove south. The balloon and payload were 30 feet up on top of a dairy barn with hundreds of cows all around. Two helpful ranchers used a skip loader to lift another ranch hand on to the roof for the recovery.
Folsom, CA to the top of a dairy barn southeast of Stockton, CA
56 NM South in 2 hours, 40 minutes
*On early flights we were not able to record altitude or a precise GPS track