The End of BESPIN

Well everyone, we’re officially calling it on the search for the BESPIN-III. For all of you who’ve helped us along the way, we can’t thank you enough. Its been an amazing ride and we’ve gotten some amazing imagery/video along the way. Naturally, it had to come to an end eventually, however being lost in the woods of WI wasn’t how we’d hoped it’d end.

For those of you just learning of our loss, it happened nearly a month ago at our final launch on October 22nd. We launched from NE Minneapolis, behind the Sevnthsin offices, and it couldn’t have been a more beautiful/perfect day for a launch. Clear skies, no winds and a lovely 70°. Everything went off without a hitch, except the SPOT tracker wasn’t properly activated. We realized this after launch, but didn’t worry to much because knowing where it was to land, we expected to be able to see it in a recently plowed corn field. We reached a max altitude of 116,599ft before the balloon burst for the last time, carrying the BESPIN-III craft to its ultimate resting spot.

In typical fashion, the BigRedBee radio tracker cut out around 4,500ft above ground, when it loses direct line of sight with the closest antenna. So we spent some time studying the last few minutes of the flight path and determining a landing location. While most of the area WAS in fact corn or bean fields, sadly our landing estimate put us right in the midst of some of the thickest woods I’ve ever trekked through. Steep ravines and patches of dense pine trees didn’t help our cause either.

You can see the area we covered over the course of two days. Approximately 6 hours of search time went into covering the woods and surrounding fields, to no avail. Our only other option would be aerial surveillance, which we don’t really have access to. But you’d easily be able to see the balloon/parachute from above, we imagine.

So after a few weeks of waiting hoping some hunters would discover it for us, we’re officially calling an end to the search. Maybe a farmer will come across it while prepping for next years crop. But until we get a phone call, we’re writing the BESPIN-III off as another lost venture.

A few pics from the day. Got some lovely shots next to the moon on our way up. I imagine there’s some great shots from inside the craft of the moon over downtown Minneapolis. But maybe we’ll never see those.

Once again, thanks to everyone involved. It was an amazing project and we had some really great times. For those of you on the Kickstarter campaign still waiting for your last batch of photos, they’ll be mailing here before the end of November. Was hoping to have a hunter call with the location of BESPIN-III before I started mailing anything, but that’s not going to happen.