[Space] Balloon remains

Mikolaj Habryn dichro at rcpt.to
Mon Feb 8 22:17:38 UTC 2010

There were definitely some causes for concern with the balloon - we
did absolutely the wrong thing for temperature control prior to
inflation, there was the spot where the skirt stuck to the envelope
that could well have created the weak spot, and also look at the
striations on the balloon as it inflated:


Very different latex thickness at different points. I feel that this
is a potential problem, but I don't really know for sure. Possibly
launching with a 30 year old balloon is also not the best of ideas,
although I think part of the reason for why we had so much success is
that military kit is built for tolerance to poor conditions and


On Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 1:14 PM, Michael O <m at dgmo.org> wrote:
> I had basically assumed it was over-inflation.
> What was the balloon actually supposed to be filled to?
> I make it that the balloon diameter at 61k ft is almost exactly 2.5 times
> the original diameter.
> (pressure at 61k ft is ~7% of sea level, take inverse of cube root).
> So it burst with a ~ 18.75ft diameter (assuming we inflated to 7.5ft).
> If had been filled to 6ft, and burst at the same diameter, it would have
> burst at about 76k ft.
> Hmm. Which does imply that it burst early if it was supposed to get to 100k
> ft.
> On Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 12:05 PM, Christie Dudley <longobord at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> In the car on the way back, Mikolaj and I were speculating on what made
>> the balloon burst so much lower than we were hoping.   It occurred to me
>> that we could learn a lot from how the balloon burst and what remained
>> intact.  Was I right in understanding the retrieval guys brought everything
>> back including the shards of the balloon?  Would you be able to bring it on
>> Tuesday so we could have a look at it?
>> Christie
>> _______
>> "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." -- W. Blake.
>> The outer bounds is only the beginning.
>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/genriel/sets/72157623376093724/
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