With a great name, a great sound track, and a ton of spirit, team Make Space Great Again put together a fantastic video summary of their flight to win them the 3rd place prize for Best Video!
From the team: "In this year's Global Space Balloon Challenge, our team set out to Make Space Great Again. The team was composed of high school students from New Covenant, Virginia Episcopal School, and Jefferson Forest High School. We met twice a week for two months at our local makerspace called Vector Space, located in Lynchburg, Virginia.
In our payload, we mounted two Xiaomi Yi action cameras, one for time lapse and one for 1080p video. Also included in the payload was sunflower, pumpkin, and watermelon seeds dedicated for our local community garden at the Yoder community center, which was also our launch site. We intended to include an air quality sensor system based on Arduino, but had technical problems and decided to leave it out of the payload so we could launch. Tracking was accomplished with a Spot Gen3, mounted in a 3D-printed gimbal, with a custom vibration motor attached to the Spot Gen3 to prevent hibernation. We also had an APRS tracker (Micro-Trak), but it stopped transmitting right after launch, and we’re not sure why (it seemed to be working when we recovered the payload, just not transmitting the location). This is why to use redundant trackers.
We launched at about 8:30am, Saturday, May 7th, which turned out to be a wonderfully clear day, unlike the previous week of rainy days. Then we loaded into the bus and headed South as our flight prediction told us. Our Spot Gen3 tracker worked exceptionally, reporting the location along the predicted path during flight, closely following US-501 south, eventually ending up outside Oxford, North Carolina. As hoped, the Spot tracker continued to operate after landing, sending 8 transmissions from the ground. We parked at the nearest spot accessible and journeyed on foot through the woods to find the payload. We ended up having to cross a flooded creek on a fallen tree, but easily found the payload in the woods close by on the other side.
Although we did not have an altimeter, based on the flight prediction calculators we think our flight was over 90,000 feet and possibly over 100,000."