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Halloween Jack-O’-Lantern Sent 30 Kilometers into the Sky

by Shane McGlaun

I love it when people attach things like smartphones and cameras to the bottom of helium balloons and launch them into the atmosphere. A man and his grandson have carved a Halloween pumpkin named Patches and attached the pumpkin to the bottom of a giant helium balloon.

patcheszoom in

Along with the pumpkin, grandpa also attached a camera to record the pumpkin’s journey through the stratosphere. The man used a 1600 g balloon that was filled with 3.5 m³ of helium. That giant helium balloon was attached to a platform that held the pumpkin and a camera to record the trip. Jump to about one minute into the video to see the pumpkin head to the heavens.

On the coolest things about this video is that you can see ice form on Patches the pumpkin as it travels through the ice cold atmosphere. The pumpkin reportedly encountered temperatures as low as -20°C and accelerated at a rate of 5 m/s when let go. The pumpkin reached an altitude of 30 km before the balloon burst with Patches and the camera returning to Earth using a five-foot diameter parachute. You have to check out the video for yourself and be warned the video is a bit of a commercial for the TOP Fruit Hub app, but my eight-year-old daughter assures me the video is awesome.

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