After weeks of long and hard work by Balloon 2, and support from the CAPE team, and many stressful hours of late night work, Balloon 2, Crawsat I, was launched today, January 31st, 2009, from Lake Charles. Launch Photos Below:
The Balloon was released at approximately 8:34 AM, with a course towards Donaldsonville, Louisiana. Below is the course of the final descent, and landing into the Mississippi River (of all places in the area!), after the cut down mechanism was initiated.
After an hour of scanning the river attempting a sighting, we finally got a visual near Sunshine Bridge (great name! :D), and were able to get the payload back after recieving help from small boat near by. Photos of Recovery below:
The Balloon was recovered at approximately 12:35PM. We will be posting more photos of the launch, and videos of the launch and recovery in the coming days, so be on the look out for more posts from myself and other people with videos and photos.
Once again, I’d like to thank all the members of the Launch, Tracking, and Recovery teams, and those that took time out to track the Balloon alongside us from their respective homes and offices, your support was invaluable in making this operation all the more successful. Also special thanks to our friends Jim and Damon from LSU, who helped us get a barge to go to the center of the river to recover our payload package, and the National Weather Service, and Jimmy Nunn, the Hydrometeorological Technician, who helped set up the balloon for launch.
Also one more thank you is in order, for the Balloon 2 team as a whole, along with the other members of CAPE involved in the work leading up to today. Without your hard work, and dedication, late at night and all weekend, over the last month, we would never have had such a successful mission!Sincerely, Rizwan Merchant Flight Director for Balloon 2
P.S: Balloon 3, now it’s our turn to get to work!