GIBAS I Captain's Logs
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
For several days after the sighting, I continuously met with peers and colleagues to hold discussions and panels on the recovery of the Gibas I, who suggested everything from firing a potato canon to hiring a professional tree climber. After brainstorming, gathering possible tools, and attempting to assemble a second recovery team, I was ready to make the drive and try again. However, I wouldn’t get that chance.
Amidst the bustle and chaos of gathering potential equipment and assembling my crew, I unexpectedly received a phone call from an unknown number- in Washington, Pennsylvania.
The call was from a man named Neal. He had gotten my number from a neighbor, and heard I was looking for a weather balloon. Sam had pulled through. The Gibas I was in Neal’s back yard. He asked for any information, maps, or coordinates I might have to help him find it, and to send them in an email.
As I was preparing materials to send that might help him to pinpoint the location of the craft, I received a message. It was an image of the camera from the Gibas I. I could not contain my excitement as I jumped and shouted throughout the halls of ground control.
Neal was kind enough to return the camera to me overnight, and one week after its launch, the equipment of the Gibas I is home.
During its flight, The Gibas I was able to capture breathtaking video of its ascent and the surrounding atmosphere. Unfortunately, the video ends before the ascent was completed. However, we can determine by analyzing the data and maps provided by the GPS device that in the 2 and a half hour gap in communications, the device was unable to transmit this data due to its high altitude. The Gibas I did in fact breech the stratosphere to reach the edge of space.
Although we did not retrieve the footage we set out to obtain, we were successful in feeling our shared humanity, if for only a moment. By facing unknown together and with curiosity, and by reaching out to unknown communities and individuals, we could feel a sense of connectedness that we so longed for.