6th time’s the charm!

ANITA had their 6th roll out this morning and after a few snags they made it out to the flight line and had a gorgeous launch! For many of us, on COSI and ANITA, this was the first balloon launch we’ve witnessed live. It was remarkable.

For safety reasons, spectators (but only those associated with LDB are allowed) need to stay over 500 feet from the launch pad. People that was deemed non-essential personnel, like ourselves, watch the whole process from just outside of our buildings. The balloon inflation takes about an hour to complete.

Some of the COSI, ANITA, and SPIDER groups waiting around for the inflation to be complete.

Some of the COSI, ANITA, and SPIDER groups waiting around for the inflation to be complete.

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I decided it was a good time for a snow angle.

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McBride, Brent, and Clio standing in front of the ANITA payload on the launch pad with the balloon fully inflated and ready for release.

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ANITA in the middle of the launch pad with the balloon inflating beside it. It looks tiny from here!

The balloon doesn’t swell up to its full size (over 400 ft in diameter) until it reaches its float altitude (110,000 ft).

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Right after the balloon was released. You could hear the whoosh/flapping of the polyethylene even from where we were. It was pretty surreal.

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The Boss maneuvers to stay underneath the balloon before the release of the gondola.

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The ANITA payload after launch. It’s just itty bitty.

GO ANITA GO!!!

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