October 16th, 2010 – Lake Elmo, MN

This weekend we sent another balloon up. It was a beautiful day, a little hazy we discovered, but we had a pretty great flight. We hit approximately 90,000 feet and traveled 80.9 miles straight east just past Eau Claire, WI.

Hard to predict what our elevation profile looks like, as looking at the aerial cam we hung over Menomonie, WI for about 10-15 minutes and just went straight up, as the city remained directly below and just got smaller and smaller. So our elevation definitely was not a nice curved path up and down. Our burst happened just east of Monomonie and it then traveled 20+ miles east to land just NE of Eau Claire. A combination of elevation estimating, since our GPS cuts our elevation at 30,000 ft, and overlaying our photos in Google Earth to get their “Elevation View” we can safely say we hit at least 90,000 ft up. So that’s great news.

We had a little problem with the camera blurring at the real high altitudes. Not sure what happened there. Looks like there were some pretty high wind speeds during some of the higher parts of the flight, but that doesn’t explain the blurry shots near max altitude, as the downward facing cam shows us not moving over Menomonie, but the side cam had a hard time focusing. So we’ll have to try again, right? Always another excuse to send one up!

Either way, here’s photos from this weekend. Great stuff indeed.

Special Thanks to my Uncle, Randy Erickson for shooting some shots as we got ready.

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