Creative Home

Space Launch – Behind the Scenes

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 at 9:47 am by nlccreativeblg
It took months of planning a research and we couldn’t be more excited with the end result so we wanted to share with you what it took to launch a camera laden cooler into space. In the video we talk through everything and then if you want the nitty gritty details, everything we used is explained and linked to below. Feel free to ask any questions and definitely check out the final product!

Official Behind the Scenes Video

Our Final Product – Beyond These Walls

HabHub Path Prediction – FREE

This proved to be the most surprisingly useful resource we found. It gave us a really good expectation of where to start heading during the GPS blackout while the balloon was at altitude. Use the ascent rate and burst altitude from the ballon you buy and descent rates from your parachute. Here are our numbers.

Kaymount Balloons (HAB-1000) – $80

For the balloon we got the HAB-1000 based on approximate payload size (900 to 2300 grams) and desired burst altitude (100,000 to 110,000 feet). Also guessing.

Rocketman Parachute (8ft) – $70

You do want your payload to come back down safely as to not kill anyone and keep your gear intact. We used the 8ft parachute which should give a nice descent rate of about 12 MPH depending on the weight of your rig.

SPOT GPS – $120 + $150/yr service fee

If you’re going to send something into space you need to be able to find it again. For us this was the most expensive part because you have to buy the hardware plus a year of the service. This solution is so great because it works completely on satellite communication, no cell service necessary. If you need a cheap solution you could always send a smart phone with a location service running. SPOT was dead accurate and fairly reliable and you can track the results at


GoPro HD Hero2 – $294
Kodak Playsport ZX5 – $89
We used a combination of GoPros and cheaper Kodak rugged sports cameras. Both worked pretty well but the GoPros definitely look better, we just had some of both already handy. We sent the GoPros without protective cases because of the pressures they would have to survive and we had to have them plugged in. Everything survived since we didn’t land in water!

G-Form Extreme Edge iPad Case – $45

If you’re doing an iPad launch this is probably the best protection you can get to keep it from shattering on landing.

New Trent External USB Battery – $34

The GoPro Cameras just don’t have enough juice to stay rolling the whole trip so you’re going to need an external battery or the extended battery pack. I would suggest one of these per GoPro for a solid couple hours of record time.

SanDisk 32GB SD Card (Class 10) – $40

To ensure you have enough record time for and hour and a half or more you will want a nice, fast, 32 GB SD card for your GoPro. 1.5hrs just barely fits on a 16GB card so it’s best to have some margin.

Foam Cooler – $15

We used round coolers in our launches because we needed something locally at a nice size and that’s all we could find. I would recommend a rectangular cooler for easier camera mounting. This is not the cooler we used but probably what I would get next time.

redrockmicro Carbon Fiber Rails – Varying Prices

We have a DSLR shoulder mount rig from redrock so we borrowed some of the rails from that for mounting which were great since they’re strong, light, and versatile.


  1. You guys are some awesome space explorers.
    You did an amazing job, your pastor’s humility is unprecedented and contiguous and real, I don’t know how but I want to partner with this ministry. I am in the process of envisioning a church plant….what an inspiration

    Comment by Daniel Grossman on October 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm

  2. Loved the behind the scenes. My favorite part is when you talked about using hand-warmers. In the middle of all this technical geeky mess, you actually admitted to using hand-warmers to keep the equipment from getting cold. But it was quickly saved when you gave it a precise number. I believe it was, “I recommend about 10-13 hand-warmers.” Too funny! Its only crazy if it doesn’t work right? The final project makes me want to move to Arkansas and help plant 1 of those 50 campuses. Great job guys!

    Comment by Jody Pickett on October 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm