Hometown Ideas · Inspiration · New Brunswick

Inspired by a Near-Space Photography Project in Fredericton, New Brunswick

This past weekend I got to watch as my boyfriend’s pet-project came through to fruition. It was an exciting morning for everyone who came out to watch.

The near-space balloon launch from my perspective – Saturday July 28, 2012 in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

The project was completed by three former chemistry students from UNB: Aaron, Alex, and Scott. They have been talking about launching a weather balloon  for months, hoping to take photos and video of the city of Fredericton from near-space.

When I first heard about this project, I assumed that it was one of those ideas that would never get off the ground.  So I was pretty impressed when it all came together and the balloon was launched Saturday morning from the UNB campus in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

I really didn’t know what to expect as an outcome. Most of the friends and family members who showed up to watch Saturday morning wondered whether they would find the balloon. Even with the aid of a GPS tracker, there was some doubt that the ‘payload’, a styrofoam cooler containing two cameras, would be retrieved at all from New Brunswick’s boggy countryside.

Luckily, the box touched-down just outside of the town of Chipman (about an hour’s drive from Fredericton), just a kilometer off the main road. They survived a rough 200 meter hike through thick vegetation and retrieved the remains of the balloon, along with its parachute and pay-load, from a tree.

At a time when most people my age can’t commit to a coffee date, it was inspiring to watch these guys turn their dream project into a reality. However, it was even more exciting to spend the evening with the guys as they screened through nearly 800 photos (not to mention those on the ground and in the tree). Included in the mix are various views of Fredericton, the Grand Lake meadows, Mactaquac, with St. John, the Bay of Fundy, and even Prince Edward Island in the distance. It’s actually pretty cool.

The photos and a working description of the project are available here – this is a must-see for any Frederictonians out there!

Awesome job guys – and thanks for having me along to watch and enjoy the project. I really enjoyed this experience and I took away a newfound enthusiasm for near-space photography.

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