By Ed Lodge
A Mylar balloon rig with a solar powered tracker flew completely around the globe in ten days last month, only to crash-land somewhere in Landaff. Mike Hojnowski, a Cornell IT guy, launched a high altitude balloon from the Cornell campus on Ithaca, NY on October 19th. It was tracked by ham operators traveling completely around the world in the upper atmosphere. The two balloons tied together with solar-powered tracking equipment took only ten days to cross the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Iran, China, the Pacific, traverse the northern USA and cruise right past its Ithaca launch site. After all that it kept on flying until it plopped down in Landaff on October 29th. Here’s the launch:
The balloon hasn’t been located. It’s outfitted with a tiny solar panel that emits a signal when the sun is out. Mike has spent a couple of days driving around the area looking for it (he calls it fox hunting), but with no luck. The two 36″ diameter silver (mylar) taped-together balloons are likely hanging from a tree on a western slope at an elevation of about 1100+ feet. The pinkish areas on the map below shows where Mike thinks it could have landed:
His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.