Saturday, October 24, 2020

MSU instructor, students send weather balloon into space

June 30, 2013

MSU instructor Troy Hale teamed up with MSU students to launch a weather balloon containing high definition, or HD, cameras and a global positioning system, or GPS, unit into space this weekend.

The weather balloon was launched- at 10:40 a.m. on Sunday, and the whole flight lasted close to 3 hours. The balloon flew about 150 miles eastward and got up to 105,000 feet in the air.

Hale said this test balloon launch surpassed everything he ever imagined.

“Last November, in our first ever launch, the balloon just traveled 92 miles and an estimate altitude of 60,000 and 80,000 feet,” Hale said. “The experience we have gained as a whole team from the first and second launches can be visually seen with the results between the two.”

InterMet Systems-, 3854 Broadmoor Ave., in Grand Rapids, Mich., was the location where the balloon took off. Hale said the weather balloon eventually landed somewhere around Holland, Mich.

After the balloon landed in Lake Erie in the previous test, Hale decided to move the location of the launch farther west.

William Jones, employee of InterMet Systems, said his company donated their time, experiences and their technological skills to help this launch get off and return to the ground.

Media and information seniors Erik Tobeler and Kirk Mason said Hale came to them both about filming a documentary on the weather balloon launch.

“We are going to keep that footage and eventually put it in the Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing so that kids can ‘ride’ the balloon up to 100,000 feet,” Mason said. “It’s going to be cool for kids to see this view that they normally wouldn’t have.”

After the project was over, Tobeler said the final results exceeded even his own expectations, citing the location of the first launch being the difference in the results.

“Seeing the weather balloon in one piece was the climax that we have all been building up to this whole time,” Tobeler said.

“We learned a lot of information from the first time we launched the balloon, but this time around was a complete success.”

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