MSU Students Launch Balloon 150K Feet

(credit: Troy Hale)

(credit: Troy Hale)

EAST LANSING (WWJ) – A weather balloon launched by a group from Michigan State University to capture images from high in the atmosphere rose to about 105,000 feet before plummeting back to Earth.

Instructor Troy Hale and the film-making and broadcast journalism students launched the camera-laden balloon Sunday from Grand Rapids, capturing hours of video footage.

“I’ve always been a fan of space and this is kind of the closest I’ll ever get to it,” Hale told WWJ’s Zahra Huber. “And what I wanted to do with this is the way we designed the camera system was so that we could bring it back to the ground and make a museum installation where we could project all the shots around and people could go inside and ride this balloon into space and feel like they were astronauts.”

Hale said his students really enjoyed the  launch — a “side project” to get them out of the classroom.

“They want to mess with cameras, and they want to do documentaries so we’re kind of doing a behind-the-scenes documentary about our process and building this thing as well,” Hale  said. “I just find that learning outside the classroom is sometimes a lot more beneficial than sitting in a classroom pointing at a power point.”

Hale says they also want to make a museum installation where they could project all the shots they took.

A view from the balloon. (credit: Troy Hale )

A view from the balloon. (credit: Troy Hale )

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