First launch during the 2014 Global Space Balloon Challenge.
Launched on the morning of Friday, April 18, 2014. The flight was originally scheduled for Saturday, but the forecast of rain forced it to be moved up one day. The fear was that a water on the balloon would weigh it down too much for such a small intended lift.
But... ground winds were much stronger than forecast and we had a tough time wrestling the balloon during fill. Our fear was that we would stress the balloon and have a premature burst (the ascent rate graph seems to indicate that we didn't). But, due to the wind, we were not able to fill the balloon with the exacting amount of gas that we wanted. We apparently overfilled it slightly. We were shooting for 135Kft but only made it to 124,884 ft.
The first two 1/30sec after pop from the upward facing camera (with time stamp)
On such a small payload with a huge balloon, an under hung parachute is vital to prevent tangles. It stayed 50 ft from the balloon remains. We also tried securing the chute, inverted, with a small piece of masking tape. It worked well and the chute stayed closed during ascent and opened within a few seconds of descent. Otherwise, this was a relaunch of designs used on NSL-20.
'Harmless' cloud of talc left after the balloon popped.
Paul and Lucas noted that this was the first flight that they were part of that didn't land in a tree !! Hopefully we can repeat this.
The chute was a bit undersized and payload landed a with a thud in a field. The super lightweight packaging disintegrated, but all equipment survived.