Yesterday, Wolfgang's PS&E (practical science and engineering) class successfully launched a weather balloon and package. Fourth time was a charm as the momentous event had been postponed from three previous dates. Once, apparently there was a major helium shortage. Another time, the weather was crap. I don't remember what scrubbed the third try, but yesterday was a hit.
The payload was a video camera and a camera for still pics to record the journey. It also had a GPS unit so they could know where the thing landed and hopefully retrieve the goods. The kids designed and built the capsule, which was mainly cardboard, duct tape, plastic cups, and RedBull (it gives you wings) cans.
When thinking of all the things that could go wrong, it's a happy thing to have it all work out. I don't yet know the specific data like how long it was up and how high it got. It made it's way halfway to Kansas before landing in Middle of Nowhere, Colorado.
Wolfgang had the honor of releasing the balloon, probably since he had the hand-cramping honor of holding onto the neck of it during the entire prep time. Here is one of the image results. Since they were in Middle of Nowhere, Colorado, there was no Wi-Fi, and one of the teacher retrievers just took a cell phone pic of the laptop screen:
I made a [video] of the launch, which you should really go watch. There is another video which is the [Cutest Video Ever] involving a weather balloon, but that video has over 4 million views as I type. [My video] has seven, and at least one of them is me. [Cute video] guy was invited to be on Katie Curic's show. I was not (yet). However, [my video] includes an official goose flyover. [Cute video] does not. There are people in [my video] whom you know. There are none in [cute video]... unless you do happen to know that guy.
In which case, you now have cool friends in two different weather balloon videos.