Launch Day

 

Planning for Launch

Write a checklist for all the necessary items and all the items you may need (scissors, glue, etc.) in case of an emergency. Plan your location carefully. We used a balloon calculator and balloon prediction site to help us with this. Here is the link: Balloon Predictor. Find a town less than an hour away from your launch site that has Wi-Fi. You may want to find a hotel or restaurant to act as your Mission Headquarters. Make sure you check the weather for clear skies. Don’t forget to charge the batteries for your devices. You should label your craft with your contact information.

Setting up for Launch

You should lay out a tarp with your supplies close by and your craft near it. When you inflate the balloon, you could use the tutorials here: Inflating a Weather Balloon. While you do that, have someone else start assembling your rope, parachute, and devices. Then have two people work together to tie off the balloon. Tying Off a Weather BalloonDon’t forget to turn on your devices before launch.

Launching

Having a countdown is always a good idea to check everything. If you want you can have someone film your countdown and subsequent launch. After you launch, you should pack quickly to retrieve the signal from your tracking device.

Tracking

When you receive signal keep checking on it periodically and do something relaxing to ease your mind from worry. Wait until the signal stops moving for at least two broadcasts.

Retrieval

Mark the location on your device in case you lose GPS signal. Keep an eye out for a colored parachute. Carefully carry it back to your car and check footage and data if you want to.