Weather balloon takes flight over Freedom Balloon Fest

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Sunday, May 27, 2018
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An experimental weather balloon ascended 63,000 feet over the Freedom Balloon Fest on Saturday.

FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WTVD) -- An experimental weather balloon ascended 63,000 feet over the Freedom Balloon Fest on Saturday.

The balloon took flight after being mounted with a variety of gadgets.

Here was the payload on the balloon:

  • Aircraft positions reporting system tracker (APRS Tracker)
  • Spot GPS Tracker
  • 170-degree camera
  • Still camera
  • Proclamation Letter from Fuquay-Varina Mayor John Byrne
  • Bengal tiger stuffed animal
  • Red poppy from American Legion Post 116: The red poppy is a nationally recognized symbol of sacrifice worn by Americans since WWI to honor those who served and died for our country.
  • Balloon cards
  • Project Uplift USA decal and pin
  • Pepsi bottle
A picture taken at 60,000 feet.

The flight lasted for an hour and a half. After reaching an altitude of 63,000 feet, the balloon ruptured and sent the payload safely (thanks to a parachute) back to the ground.

In total, it traveled 36 miles to Middlesex.