Public Lab Research note

Launch at Washington Crossing Historic Park

by geography76 | May 01, 2013 14:18 01 May 14:18 | #7146 | #7146

This was a "train-the-trainer" practice launch 10 days before our Philly Tech Week Balloon Mapping Workshop. Sean McGinnis and I invited four other workshop facilitators -- Sarah Cordivano, Erika Owens, Daniel Bergey, and Dave Walk -- to Washington Crossing Historic Park for an early morning balloon flight. My five-year-old daughter joined us.

Mostly we just walked the field in the park and caught some lovely images of budding trees. Sean's quick map is here:

Two things of interest:

  1. See the picture of Sean's orange reel. He wound his nylon string around an electrical cord storage reel and attached it to a wooden board. He uses a dowel as a brake. So smart! It makes it much easier to carry around and anchor to the ground. I'll try to get him to write a little note about how to put it together.

  2. In the other picture, you'll notice that I left the helium tank upright, with no cap on, in the parking lot. My dad saw this picture and yelled at me for almost 10 minutes. (Seriously, I felt like I was 15.) My dad is a chemist. When he was in graduate school, he saw an unsecured and uncapped tank of gas fall over. The valve broke off the tank and the tank shot through two brick walls. The point is that we should remind people to secure their tanks OR put them on their sides OR put the cap on after filling the balloon. I don't think it's risky to handle a tank of helium, but this is probably a smart thing to do. Just to be safe.


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