When changing our name from Hyper Interaktiv to Hyper, we wanted to do something that would get us some attention. Sending an iPhone out to space would do the job.
Research was the first thing we needed to do. What is required to send something of this size up in the air, what has been done before, how did they do it, what can we do better/differently, when, where etc.
We ended up with a box made out of architectural styrofoam, and a bit of plexi-glass as a window, a GoPro HD video camera, heat elements, iPhone running GeoLoqi for tracking, 200 gram latex weather ballon, a small parachute and an extra battery pack for the phone. And of course a giant tank of helium.
Nearly 60 000 views on Vimeo for the space movie! The Space Commander
Our 10th anniversary was coming up, and we planned a big party for all our friends and clients. The natural theme for the party would be «Space». We decided to make a movie about the whole space launch, where we could include all the employees and have a good time while making it. As a part this we decided to get some astronaut costumes, and custom badges for all of us. Obviously.
Failure, then success
We've actually sent two balloons up, but the first one never came back to us. The first balloon did not use an iPhone for tracking, but a dedicated satellite GPS sender which failed to transmit after returning below the clounds. With this new knowledge, and weeks of careful planning, the day finally came. Time to send the balloon up and away, part two!
The balloon launch took place outside our office, on a calm and cloudy day.
• iPhone running GeoLoqi.
• Heat pads
• Extra iPhone battery
• Hero GoPro HD camera turned on
• Parachute securely fastened
• Balloon filled to desired volume
• Cargo box sealed tight
• Return-info slip glued on the box
All good to go
Everything was checked off the list, and we were ready to let it go. Excitement in the air, literally. As soon as we let the balloon go, it was rising at a tremendous speed and went above the first cloud layer within minutes.
The chase and return
We quickly packed down the gear and went inside to follow the live tracking feed – like little kids on Christmas eve the adrenaline was rushing. After about an hour and a half it touched down to mother Earth again.
Flight time: ~1h 40 min
Highest altitude reached: 17,97 km.
Descended at about 32 km/h
Travel distance: ~120 km
The stunt caught the attention of the press, and one of Norway's largest newspapers (Dagbladet) called us for a story. The article generated large amounts of traffic to our video, and ended up getting about 60 000 unique views. There was also a buzz on Twitter, and among the people tweeting about the stunt was TED-talker Amber Case.
"Awesome! @atlemo used @Geoloqi to track a balloon flight 17 km in the air with Norway's Hyper Interaktiv agency!" Amber Case on Twitter
What goes up, must come down
We must admit that we where high flying during and after this event and the respons was overwhelming. But even if the landing was a little bit hard we did answer the question wether or not the sky is the limit. Well It is proven not to be, so next time we will aim for the moon.
The Hyper Space Team