Operation Capture Space
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Operation Capture Space

Operation Capture Space

Matthew and JustinWe were headed down to Peppersauce Cave for the second time to wander around and do some exploration of light photos (this will come up in a future article). While driving we tend to do our best thinking. After a little brain storming and some discussion we came up with the idea of sending a camera into near space. For the rest of the drive we talked in detail about how to get it done.

Just a week later we found ourselves waking up at 1am on Saturday morning and driving out toMatthew DeYoung our launch site. We filled the Weather Balloon that we bought with helium, set up our camera, and prepared the thirteen Lego Astronaut mini figures for the 6am Scheduled launch time.

We took our time getting everything ready for the launch and let the Weather Balloon and Package go at 6:38am with a clear and clean launch. We were able to track it for about an hour using the GPS tracker we had put inside. Once it reached above the prescribed altitude (about 60,000 feet) the GPS tracker stopped sending signals.

Matthew DeYoungFor the next couple of hours we experienced a real roller coaster of emotions; excited that we were actually following though with the project, nervous that the GPS Tracker would fail and we wouldn’t ever find our package, worried it would land in a body of water or Mexico. We both knew we couldn’t just sit around and wait for it to drop, so we drove around to keep out minds as occupied as possible.

The next part was amazing! We got the GPS Tracking Notification showing our package was on its way back down, our destination was an empty field near Maricopa Arizona. To say we were happy was an understatement. We couldn’t get there fast enough!

We arrived at the field to find that it was completely empty, we couldn’t have asked for a better landing location. Our white styrofoam cooler with the camera and GPS tracker was easy to spot. We drove right up on the access road and spotted the package intact and waiting for us to pick it up.

What a fun experience, and amazing sight to see! The opportunity to capture a photograph of the planet we live on, and the thought that the only people who get that view are astronauts.

We went through the photographs and were overwhelmed with what we saw, the beauty of God’s Creation that we were lucky enough to capture!

Matthew DeYoung Photographer
Junstin Swartentruber Assistant
DeYoung Pictures