Sunday, September 25, 2016

G'Boro Maker Faire

First of all, the Greensboro MakerFaire was a great event and I wish that I'd made more time to browse. Secondly, we didn't go to Fort Bragg but Fayetteville weather came to us. It was hot and way too sunny for this redhead.

Not too hot for the fire eaters, though.

NC A&T had two cool projects out but I didn't have time to chat because we were focused on balloons. I had the new tUR Cannon and SPOT so I was trying to test them. (This is part of the reason why I dropped the ball on live blogging.)

Paul L., who helped us with our hydrogen launch, was leading these event and did a good job of bringing in a crowd.

The launch, NC NearSpace's 50th, was smooth and quick. The crowd was impressed with the whole thing and a few people spoke with me about the goals of the operation. 

After we lost sight of it, Paul went to man the base and Chris, Jimmy and I were off on chase. Unlike our other launches, this balloon wasn't going very far so we had time to eat a leisurely lunch and wait for the balloon to land.

What didn't go well was our recovery! We had a good idea of where it landed, and it did land very close to the launch site, but we climbed out of the car without gearing up and that was a mistake on such a hot day. Chris found the payload almost immediately but then we all lost each other. After two hours of stumbling around a dry creek bed we met up with Chris and he took us a short walk away to the massive tulip poplar that had snagged the payload. The release mechanism they had engineered failed and the payload stayed out of reach. Chris marked the tree and then we drove back home empty handed.

Jimmy and I agreed that we learned a lot from this launch and made some quick notes in the car on the way home. 

Our Spot isn't tracking us yet. (User error?) The Canon took some nice photos (above) but currently takes them v-e-r-y-s-l-o-w-l-y. We're going to need to address that.

NC NearSpace has a plan B for recovery so hopefully we'll get some photos of the mission.

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