Flight Data


One of the questions the ground crew kept asking was, "How close did the capsule land to the predicted location?"  Here's a map showing the predicted Impact Spot and the Actual Landing Spot.  As you can see we were 8.29 miles off.  But if you look at the locations that the GPS was phoning home as it descended (I'll publish this shortly too) you'll see that the balloon was following the predicted descent path almost exactly.  However, it landed before the lower winds swept it further SW. 

Looking at the timestamps of the photos we see:

  Simulation Actual Diff
Ascent 1:52 2:13 0:21
Descent 0:48 0:35 -0:13
Total 2:40 2:48 0:08


So the ascent was longer than predicted by 21 minutes and the descent was 13 minutes shorter than predicted.  So the rate of descent was higher than predicted and the capsule came down at a higher angle (the ground crew did accuse me of using too small a parachute!).  You can see by the predicted path that if the capsule came down faster than predicted, it would not have been swept SW as much when it reached the lower wind patterns.  Perhaps this explains the 8.29 mile difference.