22nd January 2019 – BUBBLE 1, the first high-altitude research balloon of the Small Satellite Student Society of the University of Stuttgart, is finally ready to launch.
On one of the coldest days of the month the wind was favorable and the BUBBLE team met at 9 am to prepare for the launch. After some last difficulties with the software, the team was able to go to the launch site around 1 p.m. Filling the balloon with helium took about 1.5 hours and therefore longer than expected. After the balloon had reached its desired volume, electronics, software and payload were started and the gondola was closed. BUBBLE 1 started at 3:41 p.m. and immediately the two pursuit teams went to their cars to drive near the predicted landing site.
BUBBLE 1 reached an altitude of 34.7 km. The balloon burst as planned. The gondola parachuted to the ground about 80 km away from the starting point. Unfortunately, the rescue was not easy because the teams had to search for the gondola with torches off the beaten track at night. Around 6:50 p.m. one of the two teams finally found the gondola. The parachute had got caught on top of the treetops and the gondola was hanging a good three meters above the ground, but could be collected without major problems.