Today we all get up really early so that we can be
in place for sunrise. However, when we get to the location
we find that it is getting cloudy and actually clouds
are building up. What to do? We try it out. We fill
the balloon and wait for the Sun to heat it. But we
find that as the Sun rises and becomes hotter so do
the clouds build up and obscure it!!
We pack everything away and decide to drive to another
part of the desert about 30 minutes away to try there.
We unpack everything at set everything up, the Sun is
there and little cloud cover here which is good. The
crew are ready to film and we are all ready to start.
We are hanging around waiting to see when the best moment
will be, to plan the filming, when all of a sudden the
balloon takes off!!
It’s a fantastic moment because although we were
all prepared and ready to go none of us were expecting
it to go when it did!! As the Sun heated the black bin
liners the air quickly heated and slowly and majestically
the balloon came off the ground, lifted the weight of
the payload and strings and rose elegantly into the
sky! It went up about 40-50m and the little wireless
camera sent back beautiful images.
After unexpected behaviour and the success of the balloon
we go back to the mine almost as high as the balloon
went. A funny, wonderful moment – and it wasn’t
the last of the day.
The final challenge concerns Mike B’s experiment.
He has to make a device that will extract carbon dioxide
so that recycled air could be breathed safely. He sets
up a complex experiment to prove his chemical filtration
plant works. This is a big moment and a difficult one
for all sorts of technical reasons that probably won’t
come over on the program. Chemistry is often the most
difficult of the Rough Science challenges as even if
you can get the science to work often a lot of the real
life changes are invisible on first inspection.
Mike B makes up a wonderful experiment to show as clearly
as possible his challenge working. The idea is to make
carbon dioxide and then use it to extinguish a candle.
This experiment is repeated at the same time with an
identical set up apart from that the second has a carbon
dioxide filter in-line. So the candle with no filter
should go out very quickly and the one with the filter
should stay on for much longer. The carbon dioxide gas
comes from a bottle, bubbles through water (to show
it is there) and then it flows to a candle in a jam
It is a nail-biting moment when it's time to film because
there is only not much time to film and also because
the experiment has to be built into the ending and so
it’s a little tricky and complex TV wise.