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07-12-2008, 09:44 PM   #16
Damn Brit

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Heck yeah. I was in space yesterday too, or thought I was after a bottle of cava and several whiskeys.
Hey Robin, is that what they call an Irish Shandy?

07-12-2008, 10:38 PM   #17
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Nice photos. looks like you had some fun

one question, however

QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
The payloads are attached to a sounding balloon which climbs to over 100,000 ft.
How the hell did you get it to come down near you? of did you just follow the gps signal and drive?

This takes the 'find a different perspective' advice to an extreme

Well done
07-12-2008, 10:56 PM - 1 Like   #18
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Bob83 Quote
Nice photos. looks like you had some fun
one question, however
How the hell did you get it to come down near you? of did you just follow the gps signal and drive?
This takes the 'find a different perspective' advice to an extreme
Well done
Thank you. We wrote software that models the balloon flight dynamics, and uses wind data from the weather service to predict where we will land. That gives us a good idea where we we need to go. We then track the system that sends the GPS coordinates down to our tracking system in the vehicle, where we can constantly update the prediction. The winds can change quite a bit. Sometimes though, we actually arrive near the landing site ahead of the return of the payloads on parachute, and watch the descent.

The balloon track obviously depends on the day of the year. In the summer, flights are short. In the winter, the jet stream can take the balloon for a ride at over 100mph when it is between roughly 30,000 and 50,000 ft. The longest flight has taken us over
120 miles. The shortest was Friday which was about 12 miles.

You may not believe me, but on a clear day if the sun is low, you can actually see the balloon from the ground at 100,000 ft. This is because the balloon is between 40-50 ft across at that point. I have seen it with my own eyes. I was amazed the first time I saw it. We were parked near the predicted landing spot and I saw it when I looked where the track said it was. It was a clear white speck. Then it burst and I could see it no longer for about 40 minutes when then we saw the payloads reappear on parachute around 5,000 ft. It landed across the street from us in some trees. Of course that was the day I forgot to pack my camera in the truck...

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 07-12-2008 at 11:02 PM.
07-13-2008, 03:55 AM   #19
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Very cool narrative -- it is great to have this info! Thanks so much for sharing.

07-13-2008, 04:05 AM   #20
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I thought you were in some super-duper military aircraft or something and just shot the photo out the canopy. While that would of course be extraordinarily kewl, the story of the actual circumstances the camera performed under are far more impressive.

I'll even forgive it the error of putting the sky in the bottom of the picture.
07-13-2008, 04:14 AM   #21
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How very cool! Nice shots at flickr. Which one is you? teehee

Makes me wonder how other cameras have performed in the same conditions. I've only found a Canon Sureshot being used with a balloon and it appears to have taken good shots as well.
07-13-2008, 04:18 AM   #22
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Seriously breath taking image!
07-13-2008, 04:55 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
I'll even forgive it the error of putting the sky in the bottom of the picture.
LOL haha..

well it looks awesome.. in case I will go to outer space I can take my cam with me to make some pictures

07-13-2008, 05:07 AM   #24
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the flikr gallery is great, I'm glad you included some shots of the balloon set-up. NEATO!
07-13-2008, 05:17 AM   #25

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I think this is incredible, and no doubt speaks volumes about the quality not just IQ of pentax cameras and lenses. I am truly impressed, and as mentioned by someone else I also don't get that way too often. beautiful photos, just stunning. and to know they were taken with a pentax actually makes me very happy. I'm not a 'fan boy' but seeing photos like this really does cement my like, joy, and trust in pentax cameras for my true passion. thumbs up to you for all your hard work and willingness to share it with us.
07-13-2008, 06:09 AM   #26
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That's really cool! I'm just wondering if you've mentioned your work to Ned B...
07-13-2008, 06:48 AM   #27
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awesome pictures, breathtaking effort i think!

who are you? what are you doing for life?


hope we can see the other pictures.
07-13-2008, 12:23 PM   #28
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wow...someone send those shots to the Pentax Corp....good for an ad campaign, "So good, not even the sky is the limit"
07-13-2008, 01:06 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
Took this shot yesterday with a k10d at over 104,000 ft altitude. The k10d performed flawlessly in the harsh vacuum of space at temperatures below-60F:

This one is a typical example, and I have many more if you are interested in seeing them. Out of over 300 images taken, only a couple are unuseable (go PENTAX!)
Note: More detail about the flight in post #13 below
This is some spectacular shot, thanks for sharing.


07-13-2008, 01:47 PM   #30
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Great work and GO POKES!!! Glad to see a fellow Cowboy pulling off some nice work!! Yukon Oklahoma here and I bleed Orange and Black!!!

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