Flight Pictures

The wind pattern on launch day allowed for some impressive (lucky) aerial shots of Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, Lake Meade,  portions of highway 93 / historic route 66, the Peach Springs Hualapai Indian reservation, and even parts of the Grand Canyon!

Among the highlights are pictures of the Las Vegas strip, Hoover Dam (along with the new 93 bypass bridge and the lake), a  communications satellite,  jet contrails from above, and a meteor crater in Arizona.

SPOT GPS was used opposed to the GPS cell phone / instamapper combination in other launches due to the lack of cell phone coverage in these remote parts of Arizona. Had we used my i425 instead, the craft would still be lost, for it landed in one of these areas without cell access.

We were able to track the balloon up to roughly 60,000 feet – the maximum altitude that SPOT GPS will function. We later concluded based on the velocity, the pictures, and flight patterns of similar balloons such as the MIT Icarus launch, that the Viking I reached a maximum altitude of ~95,000 feet!

For the purpose of sharing I applied enhancement to the images posted on this page so that they can be used as wallpapers. The raw files are available to download here as well.

Download (.torrent)  – Full project media of images from the camera as well as a high quality time lapse video.

Photo enhancements courtesy of Bob Sokalski.

Project Viking I Timelapse Video (1985 images, 95,000 feet) from Project Viking on Vimeo.

14 Responses to Flight Pictures

  1. ann says:

    Very awesome experience! Brilliant!

  2. alex sparkuhl says:

    Great start.

  3. Lenny Tanchala says:

    Fantastic, I’m very proud of you.

  4. Lucille & Tom says:

    Wow! We are very impressed!!! Fabulous job!

  5. patti mccoy says:

    Wow!!! Impressive accomplishment, Sir Steven. Proud of you and your scientific research. 95,000 ft WOW!!!

  6. Ballon Guy says:

    Extending the length of your flight train to 50 feet or so will help dampen any vibrations and return a smoother time lapse!

  7. Rich Burgan says:

    Thanks for thinking and doing out the box. We need more kids like you who will lead in the near future. Don’t take advice from any government agencies with less than four letters in their acronym.

    Have you though about using Ham Radio for telemetry? Lots of Hams would be interested in helping you.

    Keep moving forward.

  8. Thom says:

    Inspiring. Very cool.

  9. Paolo says:

    Well done guys, great pictures and wonderful feel :)
    Looks like we could be there too :)

  10. Helen says:

    Incredible pictures. One reason I always ask for window seating on flights, but I can only dream of getting anything like this. Thank you

  11. [...] a pun here about how there’s no sound in a vacuum — hence no peeps in space. [url] High school students from around Las Vegas have documented their own helium-filled-balloon-to-space … Pretty soon, kids are going to need a license to buy helium balloons. [url] Some New Jersey high [...]

  12. Well done guys, great pictures and wonderful feel :)

  13. [...] Flight Pictures В« Project Viking Apr 10, 2011 … We later concluded based on the velocity, the pictures, and flight patterns of similar balloons such … [...]

  14. I really appreciate your sharing of all the pictures from this awesome project. Also, thank you for making them available in a torrent.

    I was hoping you might be willing to shed some light on the license for these pictures. Would you please declare somewhere on this page what the license for the pics is? I would love to be able to use these on a CC-BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) basis or something similarly permissive.

    As it stands, there’s no way for anyone to incorporate these beautiful shots into anything without fear of someone suing them over the rights. It would be a great service to all if you were to declare these freely usable.

    Thanks for considering!

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