For me, testing the balloon (Kathy and Jonathan’s
challenge) turned out to be the best moment in this
Rough Science series.
The day started early because we needed cold air in
contrast to a warm sun. It was cloudy over Darwin Mine.
No one was confident, but several of us were hopeful
- willing to give it a “Rough Science try”.
We changed location several times to try to get the
sun from behind the clouds. Finally we found that the
sun was out over the same place as we tested Jonathan’s
rover in programme one.
The camera and sound crew got their stuff together
quickly and were filming us, not so much because they
thought anything would happen, but because they are
professionals and their job is to always be ready -
waiting, waiting, waiting for something to happen. Well,
happen it did! As we took turns filling the balloon
by wafting air into it by fanning the opening with cardboard
(think of fanning a fire), we joked about how this was
going to be our first big failure and it was made of
binbags. Then, all of a sudden the balloon jumped off
the ground and soared twenty feet into the air. Half
of us just stood there dumbfounded, the other half screamed
in amazement and delight. It worked; it worked! We ran
around underneath it, waving. We jumped and hooted.
All I could think about was building one of these at
home with the kids in the neighbourhood.
Great success! Plus, the earthquake magnitude and location
we determined were pretty close, too. Mike B. was due
for great success this day as well—he scrubbed
the carbon dioxide out and left oxygen in for healthy
breathing. This is one amazing show to be a part of.