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Near orbit high resolution video and photography from the stratosphere by six amazing 6th grade girls from Kentucky.
Near orbit high resolution video and photography from the stratosphere by six amazing 6th grade girls from Kentucky.
226 backers pledged $5,100 to help bring this project to life.

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Terra Incognita - Final Video Complete

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The final video for the project is now complete. Please feel free to leave comments and feedback on the Vimeo video page. The team really enjoyed your feedback throughout the project. Now that most of you have your pictures in hand (or downloaded) and watch the video, your feedback would mean a lot to the girls.

As always, we thank you for your support as none of this would have been possible without you.

Sneak Peek of Final Prints

We finally have the prints and posters ready to share digitally. Because we only had 1920 x 1080 pixels to work with on our prints, we had to take a collage approach for the 20" x 30" and 24" x 36" sizes. To tie it all together, we used the new NASA Blue Marble shot as the background for the posters and included prints from our mission on top. We think they came out really great!

Depending on the poster size and style there are between 8 and 12 shots from the mission on the posters. All posters and prints are autographed. We are giving you links to 3 different kinds of posters and 3 sizes of prints (2 different pictures). The team selected the poster with the film strips as our favorite. We ordered samples of all print sizes this week and they should be in this coming week or the following at the latest.

Below is the team's favorite poster.

There is also this version

And this version

Here is the 5" x 7" Version A

And 5" x 7" version B

Below is a link to all sizes and versions of the prints and posters. You can download them from this photo set by clicking on the image you like and then "Actions" directly above the picture on the top left, then drop down to "View All Sizes" - pick "original" size to download the highest resolution.

We really hope you like these.

Enjoy, David & Anna

Results & Time Lapse Video of Launch

Good Evening Backers,

The digital pictures are ready for release!!

Please link on over to our project website and download images from our trip to the stratosphere. You can select individual images or download all the in flight images in one zip file. Once there, you will also find a time-lapse video of the launch and a link to slideshows of 30 in flight photos and a separate one with 136 (and growing) photos of the overall project. The time lapse has some video footage from 120,000 feet at the beginning so be sure to hit play and check it out.

For those who opted for Option A, the prints will be on their way in about 2 weeks. We are still waiting for the final responses from about 20 backers and then we will order prints. Once the prints are in, we will get them out to you as quickly as possible.

We still plan on producing a video of the overall project but it will take several weeks to get that completed. And we will be working on the composite poster this coming week. Once the poster is ready we will share a preview on our website and let you know it is ready.

WE DID IT!! Pictures from the Edge of Space.

Well, we took a risk and launched today even though the weather pattern was pushing us further south and east than we wanted. The risk was that it would end up in a forested area in a tree . . . . and it did. But somehow we found it, without cell signal to power our GPS even. What an AMAZING journey and thank you all for helping make this dream come true - words can't express how we all feel right now. The curvature is exaggerated somewhat due to the wide angle of the lens. We will try and fix that (but not all of it) after we research how to correct lens distortion in Photoshop.

Below is the predicted flight path. We got started 2 hours late due to the lengthy fill time of the balloon and the winds were much stronger because of the delay pushing us off the original prediction. You should plan 2 hours to fill it if you ever try and do this yourself. We used for the model. Right click on the image below and "View Image" to see it full size.

Here is a shot of us filling the balloon. It reached 118,000 feet before bursting and falling back to earth. Had a lot of help from the parents of Anna's friends. Mini's dad help me a bunch with the balloon and spent the day with us on the chase. Lexi's grand father helped us get the remaining helium we needed without which we could not have launched.

We launched at 11:45 Central time. The balloon was moving too fast for the SPOT meter to get a lock to send a GPS location the entire flight. I hadn't counted on that. It was a very helpless feeling but we remained confident and were rewarded with a location at 2:02 P.M. within 13 minutes of our total flight time of 2:30. The bad news was, as we learned it was farther away and in the woods. We headed out and got to the location at about 2:50 P.M. 

The bad news was that from about 30 minutes from the landing site, we had no cell coverage. So all we had was a rough area to work from behind a church in the woods. We went about 100 yards into the woods and started searching and Mini spotted the parachute about 100 yards from that location. What luck (for the location) and keen eyesight.

It appeared to be about 20-30 feet in the air from where we stood. But after three of us hacked our way further though the woods, it turned out to be on a ridge opposite our ridge and within hand reach. We were able to simply grab it and pull it down enough to cut it loose from the parachute making lots of young ladies and their families very happy. We had some amazing luck help us along today.

The team was holding the payload by 3:50 this afternoon. Upon inspecting the payload everything appeared to be just fine and we headed home.

Everything went perfect with this flight except one thing, the high res digital camera didn't take pictures. It sounded like it was taking pictures and you can even hear it in the video every 5.5 seconds. But, it had no SD card in it. So the pictures we have are still shots pulled from the HD footage. These are fine for 8x10 photos and even up to 16x20 but might not reproduce well above that. I take full credit for the mistake, in my prep I cleaned the SD cards of all the cameras and forgot to put the last one back in. I check the camera and it fired just fine when the shutter was pressed . . . . no indication of the lack of SD card.

Here are a couple more shots from about 118,000 feet. I've pulled almost 100 shots tonight but have only had time to color correct a few. You can right click on the images and go to "View Image" to see a larger version.

We will be sending you a survey in the next few days to get physical addresses and email addresses so we can send/email pictures to you. I'll be producing a video of the entire project. I'll email everybody as well once it is complete.


Launch Tomorrow 2-28-2012

It looks as though all things are in order and we are good to go for launch tomorrow. We have helium and our payload is ready. Tracking has been quadruple checked. Mother nature is appears to be cooperating. Low winds. We are shooting for a 9:30-10:00 launch central time.

The flight path is the only thing that could be a problem. If the predicted flight path based on weather conditions in the morning has us flying too far north or east we will have to wait for a different day. But as of this moment we are a green light for launch. I'll update in the morning.

Below is the predicted flight path as of tonight at about 10:30 PM. Ideally we would like to see it land south and west of Bowling Green. This flight path is about a 5-6 out of 10 on the desirability scale. Right click on the and "View Image" for a larger look. As you can see we are landing East of Bowling Green and that is in a more forested section of Kentucky (I don't really want to be climbing trees if I can help it). West is flat farm lands and where we want to land. Hopefully tomorrow we will see a more favorable predicted flight path based on the winds at the time.

Ad Astra!