Balloon News at GEEK 2015

Balloon News has teamed up with the organisers of GEEK 2015, a celebration of video gaming and creative arts in Kent.


During the GEEK festival, this year held between 20-22nd February at Margate Winter Gardens, we have organised a game called Social Searching. A high altitude balloon will be launched from the Winter Gardens and tracked by SPOT satellite messengers. Players will have to follow the progress of the balloon until it lands and use social media to network with someone who lives close to the landing site and who is willing to go and collect it. Subject to permission, the flight will take the balloon into western Europe. So participants will have to develop new connections and friendships using social media into the country where the balloon lands. The winner will be the team who gets the payload back to GEEK. There will also be 9 runners up prizes. Balloon News is taking part in the event because we see it as a great experiment into social networking for people to achieve a set purpose. There is more information about GEEK and the Social Searching at

US HAB team attempting a trans Atlantic balloon crossing needs listeners

A team of HAB enthusiasts from America, headed by Paul Verhage is currently attempting a trans Atlantic crossing flight from Idaho, USA. Paul gave us some details of the flight.


We have a balloon airborne right now from Idaho USA. The callsign is kd4sth-1 and its transmitting APRS in 144.390. We believe it is currently located between the Baltics and Ukraine. A digital camera and the cold may be preventing the GPS from getting a proper lock. If anyone could listen for it, I would appreciate it.

Spirit of Idaho was launched using a 3000gm balloon filled with hydrogen. The team have tried to achieve an ascent rate of between 200 and 300 feet per minute.The payload consisted of a cannon camera, weather sensors, and one of Paul’s flight computers. The flight computer is based on the TinyTrak and had a PICAXE-18M2 running in parallel for data logging.

Tracking via SPOT at

spirit of Idaho