OK. I finally got it done. Our first balloon launch got to 118,000 feet but we lost the payload. So, we had to do it again. This is our second launch and we only got to just under 100,000 feet, but we got everything back intact. Was it a success? Well, that depends on how you define success. I believed we achieved our primary objectives, which were to bust Mythbusters (while showing the differences in footage shot with a fish-eye lens and footage shot with a non-fish-eye lens).
As for the other goals of exceeding 115,000 feet and honestly examining the results as we test what we believe, well, we didn’t meet the altitude goal, but we will be testing what we believe as we examine the results of this footage.
The big question on many people’s minds is, “Well is the Earth flat or a globe?” Honestly, I think both camps will see evidence for their position in this footage… which is a bit frustrating. All, I can say is this footage is inconclusive and needs more careful analysis. But again, those who believe the Earth is a globe, will see evidence for that and those who don’t will contest that evidence and say otherwise, so as I said in the interview I did prior to the first launch, I’m under no delusion that we will convince anyone either way with this test. But I will say the evidence presented here must be weighed against a lot of other evidence (such as other weather balloon footage shot at above 120,000 feet, showing a perfectly flat horizon) before drawing any conclusions.
What I did with this video was sync up the footage from the two cameras we had on the payload with footage shot by me, Rick and another guy named Tim and I added some animations to show exactly what was happening in real time. I know at 3 hours in duration, this is a long video, but hopefully, you will feel like you were right there with us on this adventure.
NOTE: YouTube allows you to view videos at 2x speed, so if you don’t have the time, that might be a good way to view this video (it’s what I do myself these days).