On 07.10.2012, dailybuttons launched the first button of the world with a weather balloon into the stratosphere.
First, we needed a great artwork for the button. Maybe with a little megalomania, our favorite illustrator Christian Rothenhagen dressed our small company mascot with a space suit. The air should be quite thin up there.
After a long preparatory phase and a lot of improvisation, the camera box with the viewing window for the button was finished. GoPro, GPS tracker, balloon, parachute, button … everything was ready.
Fingers crossed for good weather and little wind.
The next morning, everything was packed and we were with the balloon, the button, helium, and a lot of cable ties on the way to Tempelhof Airport. The approved launch site was located, and we got everything ready for departure. We inflated the balloon with helium and attached the camera box to it with the parachute.
Then we called the Tower of Schönefeld Airport and received the permission to launch at 10 a.m..
The countdown was on… so I quickly turned on the camera and the GPS tracker and placed everything into the styrofoam box with the button.
The balloon wanted to fly away alreadz, but we wanted to quickly shoot a few photos. 3,2,1 … lift off! He flew. He flew. The first button was on the way into the stratosphere.
On the ground, many unbelieving eyes were looking up at the balloon. I think most of them (including mylself) thought this adventure would end in Neukölln.
The calculated 5 meters per second rate of climb were estimated to be 3 meters per second instead.
Anyway … let´s wait …
We packed up everything and headed to our favorite café. After 2 hours, the GPS tracker should have reported the position data … not gonna happen! Even after 2.5 hours, still no signal. After 3 hours and a few cups of caffeine, we blew the action. Technology had failed!
On the way home, after 3.5 hours, suddenly the phone rang – an SMS of the tracker with the data. Madness !!! Poland, Forest, 330km …
First rescue attempt in brief:
Mauro, Mark, four hour drive, Poland, dark, forest, fox, free-running dogs, no balloon, hotel, alarm clock 6am, forest, no balloon, four hour drive, Berlin.
Once home, we noted that an outdated card had indicated a wrong point in the forest on our mobile phone. With the computer, we found the right place, and that was only 10 kilometers apart from the first one. Unfortunately, also in the woods.
Second rescue attempt:
This time, Martin from lasernlasern is at my side. Equipped with climbing ropes, a large saw, catapult, tracking device and rubber boots, it goes back in the direction of Poland.
The streets were narrow, and we hadn´t seen people for some time. After 330km, we had to park our car and walk with the equipment on foot. 200 meters, we were finally at the location the GPS signal had sent us. An upward view, and … YEEES, it was the parachute, together with button and … NOOOO, 25 meters high in a tree.
Soaking wet from the rain and two hours later our flying object was finally on the ground.
We have pretty much used all of our equipment and devices …
Now we quickly ran with the button and the memory card from the camera to the car and turned on the laptop.
Nervous wait and then the reward: the video from the first button in the stratosphere!
The facts: the flight lasted 3 hours, and the parachute flight took another 30 minutes. We assume a rate of climb of 3 – 3.5 meters per second, which would result in an altitude between 32 and 37 kilometers. MISSION SUCCESS!
The film can be seen here:
A big thanks to all who have supported us in this action!
- The team at the Tempelhofer Feld in alphabetical order:
Martin Bauer, Boris Bläske, Harvey Briggs, Vanessa Briggs, Alex Dreischmeier, Paul Heyer, Mauro Diciocia, Jan-Hendrik Meyer, Robert Palmer, Christian Rothenhagen, Stine-Mari Roverdatter, Mark Wiechert
- The Rescue Team:
Martin Bauer, Mauro Diciocia, Mark Wiechert
Photos: Martin Bauer, Paul Heyer
Movie: Mauro Diciocia