Spacebits: Awesomeness, Balloons, Space and DIY

A session at SXSW Interactive 2012

Monday 12th March, 2012

11:00am to 12:00pm (CST)

Slightly over a year ago we had this idea of trying to launch a ballon into the stratosphere (~100,000 feet) with a couple of cameras and get it back down safely.

Since then we've launched 6 balloons and successfully recovered all of them.

We learned a lot in the process: how inert gases cannot explode but can instead make other things explode, how to calculate volumes and weights appropriately to attain the desired height before the descent, how dropping the payload in salted water can be harmful for the cameras, how to put more and more sensors in the payload and still have it lift off, and how ideas that sometimes seem brilliant may cover hidden dangers (and extremely ridiculous moments).

We have also managed to gather dozens and dozens of people around this movement, up to the point of having 12 cars with 5 people each and lots of gear running after 3 balloons simultaneously. And did we tell you running away from wild animals?

Apart from telling (and showing) you all these things, we will also unveil our ideas for the future and answer your questions if you're planning to launch a HAB.

About the speakers

This person is speaking at this event.
Fernando Afonso
This person is speaking at this event.
Fernando Afonso


DIY enthusiast and software developer since I consider myself a person.

This person is speaking at this event.
Celso Martinho


Introversion, iNtuition, Thinking, Perception. Geek. Founder. CTO sapo.pt

Next session in Citadel

12:30pm Get Excited and Make Things with Science by Jeremy Keith, Ariel Waldman and Matt Bellis


Take collaborative notes on this session with hackpad


8 attendees

  • Ariel Waldman
  • Ben Firshman
  • Celso Martinho
  • Fernando Afonso
  • Gui Ambros
  • Jon Verville
  • nloureiro
  • thisisaaronland

8 trackers

  • Jeremy Keith
  • Paul Duncan
  • Laurian Gridinoc
  • Dan W
  • johanna kollmann
  • Jon Long
  • Ralph Brandi
  • Louis Montagne

Coverage of this session

Sign in to add slides, notes or videos to this session

Sign in to track this session

Tell your friends!


Time 11:00am12:00pm CST

Date Mon 12th March 2012


Citadel, Driskill Hotel

Session type


Session Hash Tag


Short URL


View the schedule



See something wrong?

Report an issue with this session