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Jonathan's Aerial Surveyor Diary Day 1 2 3

Day Two

Try out our balloon near to sunrise but still no joy. We decide that the round structure is a little more stable than the long sausage and so decide to make up a much larger spherical balloon using the light bags – about 4-5m in diameter.

The large spherical structure is composed of 12 pentagons cut-out from the bags and sticky-taped together to make up a sort of football shape. The idea was to make up the pentagons and then add them together to form two bowl shaped structures having six pentagons each, and then finally to fit these together to form the spherical structure. This seemed more logical as it is very easy to get lost in all the plastic sheet that ends up being on the ground! We started out really well and made good progress but when we had made up the two bowl shapes the problems began.

Kathy and I realised that the two halves needed to be joined together in the correct place, we couldn’t simply tape them together at any point and hope they would come together okay. So we thought about it and went ahead … and .. somehow got it wrong!

What should have been a nice round structure when filled with air turned into a horrible square-ish thing with knobbly bits! We carefully cut the two halves apart but got lost in the process and ended up having to take each pentagon apart and tape them up again. In the process our pentagons lost shape and it took ages to re-assemble the two halves. Then after carefully thinking about how they should go together we joined them up … only to find that once more we got it wrong!

We simply did not have the time to re-build the thing again and so we had to make do with a slightly square round balloon with tuffty bits like ears – in fact we called it ‘big ears’.

Kathy makes up a payload holder and we string it to the balloon. We are both exhausted having put everything into getting this dam design working. We are running out of time to do any changes and so we have to go with what we have got.

No more time left today and we only have tomorrow morning left for a Sun rise to test it out!

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The balloon takes to the skies
Scientist Diaries

See how the rest of the team fared with this challenge:

Ellen
Iain
Kathy
Mike