Our third launch during the 2014 Global Space Balloon Challenge.
The weather cooperated during this attempt. With the cooler springtime stratosphere and no stormy source of 'gravity waves', we didn't expect to make it to our wintertime altitudes over 140K ft, but hopefully we would do better than NSL-24. Our launch site in Greensboro really spoiled us. We were able to fill our cell out of the wind and load just the amount of buoyancy that we wanted. This flight was similar to NSL-20 and NSL-24 -- 250g payload on a 1600g cell.
It was an unusually clear day so we were treated to some great views of the southeast US. Here is Albemarle to Wilmington:
Wilmington area just after burst (note camera was upside down) And the RTP area
This flight had the two 808 cameras (120deg fish eye FOV each) facing different sides of the payload (90deg apart). Syncing these should allow us to create an extra-wide video.
We used our chute deployment method from NSL-24 and it worked again. The chute was larger this time, so the sudden deployment took us from 190mph to 80mph in under 30sec. This strain forced one of our thin bridle cables to slice through our delicate payload and severed one of our cameras. The larger chute allowed us to touchdown at an easy 6mph.
New live visualization tools helped us predict burst minutes before it occurred.