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UK Team Misses Balloon Altitude Record, But Beats a Few Others 34

An anonymous reader writes with this report from Hackaday, which recently covered an attempt at the UK altitude record for an amateur balloon launch. Says the story: "Things don't always go as planned, but the APEX team did manage to beat the several other UK records, including ones for the longest distance and flight duration for a latex balloon." The balloon drifted east from its launching point England, being tracked by Ham radio operators for much of the way, but eventually fell out of range, and is suspected to have ended its flight in Poland or Russia: "The APEX team is offering a reward for finding Alpha, so if you see a small styrofoam box in Eastern Europe, drop the APEX boys a line."
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UK Team Misses Balloon Altitude Record, But Beats a Few Others

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  • by need4mospd ( 1146215 ) on Monday October 24, 2011 @10:14AM (#37817014)
    The California Near Space Project [] broke the altitude record yesterday.
  • by k6mfw ( 1182893 ) on Monday October 24, 2011 @11:04AM (#37818082)

    136,545 feet! That is 1515 ft more than previous amateur balloon altitude record held by Cornell University at 135,030 (though I don't think Cornell belongs in the amateur catagory but they used amateur radio as secondary freq). Cornell's balloon was a three-story tall zero pressure techology balloon. CNSP is led by amateurs: They have to pay for everything out of their own pocket, and all have day jobs (lead guy services swimming pools for a living).

    It was exciting to watch it keep going and going, breaking the 130K mark, getting closer to Cornell's, watching the packet transmission (also on and see that transmission of 136039 (nine more feet for 1st place!), and it kept going. No more transmissions after 136545, Stratofox [] had couple vehicles and a airplane, they estimated from predicted path where it may be and guessed correctly at Manteca. Saw one packet burst at ground level and found it in someone's backyard (they were helpful in retrieving it). It almost landed in a swimming pool.

    The ***highest*** balloon was done by the Japanese (University of Tokyo or Japan) at 172,000 feet. This balloon was huge, they had tractors and cranes and truckloads of gas to fill it. Obviously very expensive, much out of the amateur catagory.

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