Peak Altitude: 110k Feet, Total flight time: 3 hours
Yes, I know the drone didn’t fly itself up there, that was part of the gag! I also know that by most definitions 110k feet is not quite “space”. Still, I can confidently say that no Hubsan (or any multirotor), has been higher off the earth’s surface!
Equipment: 600 gram weather balloon, $40 action camera, extra battery, altimeter, Spot GPS satellite locator, Rocketman 3ft chute.
Original intention was to launch in the early morning. The predicted flight path at that time would put touchdown in Lake Huron off Caseville / Port Austin area in Michigan. Due to rough water, that plan was scrapped and the launch rescheduled for later in the day and a ground based recovery.
Everything worked exactly as planned with one exception; we found we were a little short on helium. I bought a 90 cu foot tank and only needed about 70 for the flight. It seems i didn’t get quite 70 cu feet… Still, the craft flew and actually went higher as a result of less helium!
GPS tracking coverage was good until the balloon reached 65k feet over the bay. At that point we were in the dark as civilian GPS stops functioning above that altitude. For the next 1.5 hours we waited, hoping to get a signal.
Finally, just on time, we reestablished comms! It was just south of where the software had predicted it would touch down. Amazing the predictions worked so well!
The land owner was happy to let me retrieve the craft.
If you want to launch a balloon into space, make sure to read up and follow all FAA guidelines.
Thanks for watching.