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A Toy Train in Space

For those who haven’t caught this yet, a video Ron Fugelseth made about sending his son’s favorite train “Stanley” to space. And here are some notes he shared about the process including safety notes!

On Aug 24th 2012 we sent my son’s favorite train “Stanley” to space in a weather balloon with a HD camera and an old cell phone for GPS. He was recovered 27 miles away in a corn field. This video documents the journey from liftoff to landing.
PLEASE read below, it answers most questions I get emailed.

My 4 year old and Stanley are inseparable like Calvin and Hobbes. He’s been attached to him since he was two, and they play, sleep and do everything together. I animated Stanley’s face with After Effects and Photoshop to bring him to life how I imagine my son sees him.

Here’s the first video I made of my son and Stanley when he was 2 years old, documenting the beginning of their friendship. I shot it over 5 months.

Quick Note on Safety

I’m getting so many comments regarding safety that I think I should write a quick note to let everyone know of the precautions I took before launching Stanley into the sky.

First off, I called the FAA 15 minutes before launch (per their instructions) so they could make sure no planes fly into the flight path. I read and followed all their rules for weather balloon launches. It had a homemade radar reflector, and a 3 foot parachute.

Second, the box was only 2 pounds and made of foam core, with a wooden dowel to hold Stanley in front of the camera. I spent two months monitoring the winds with this website to pinpoint the general area that he would land. For safely, I launched him from a location that I knew would bring him down into farm land. The prediction website was only 5-10 miles off, so he landed safely in a corn field, far away from any towns.

I didn’t want Stanley to be a murderer. Plus I wanted to make sure my son got Stanley back. 🙂

Read more.


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