Balloon 2 Launch Success!

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!

Rizwan Merchant
Flight Director for Balloon 2

P.S: Balloon 3, now it’s our turn to get to work!

One thought on “Balloon 2 Launch Success!

  1. Jim, N5IB

    Great job by the ULL team. Nothing like designing something and making it work as designed. Looking forward to your next flights.

    For future flights, send an advance announcement to the ARHAB Flight Announcements page at

    run by Ralph Wallio, W0RPK

    Check out the balloon records page linked on that site. Your mission qualifies for posting in the longest flights category.

    In the group photo on the river barge, gentleman on the left is Gary Ross, dispatcher for Weber Marine, and #5, counting from the left, is Matt Mabile, pilot of the MV Bad Bill, who snagged the payload out of the Big Muddy.

    The other member of the LSU team was Prof. Dana Browne, AD5VC, Associate Chairman of the Physics Dept.

    Jim Giammanco, N5IB, Instructor of Physics, LSU

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