Balloon Launch, New Mexico

Day 494Day 494 launch balloon NM 6944_Fotor

     The couple in the RV two down from us own the balloon Santa Fe Sunrise, and they invited us out to watch them launch.

     First the balloon is laid outDay 494 launch balloon NM 6893_Fotor

     It is attached to the basketDay 494 launch balloon NM 6894_Fotor

     Then it is inflated with “cold” airDay 494 launch balloon NM 6900_Fotor

     When it reaches 85% full, the burners are turned onDay 494 launch balloon NM 6908_Fotor

     until there is enough heat to make the balloon “stand up”Day 494 launch balloon NM 6909_Fotor

     Crew members hold the basket down while the balloon is fully inflatedDay 494 launch balloon NM 6926_Fotor

     There is a “Zebra” assigned to each balloonDay 494 launch balloon NM 6930_Fotor

     She consults with the balloon pilot, whom has been previously issued a launch ticket (authorization to launch on this day from this spot). The launch field is laid out in a grid of A-Z and 1-9. The Santa Fe Sunrise was assigned spot Q-7.Day 494 launch balloon NM 6911_Fotor

   The Zebra checks authorization to launch and all safety aspects of the balloon. She consults with other Zebra’s in the area, as balloons are launched by rows. She clears the area in front of the balloon (those rows had already been launched), and she gives the signal to launch.

     The crew release the basketDay 494 launch balloon NM 6963_Fotor   

     and the balloon goes upDay 494 launch balloon NM 6965_Fotor

     upDay 494 launch balloon NM 6967_Fotor

     and away.Day 494 launch balloon NM 6970_Fotor           

     Considering that 550 balloons are going up today in the space of 2 hours, it is amazing there are no crashes.Day 494 launch balloon NM 6987_Fotor

     Because the “Albuquerque Box” was working on this beautiful day, once all 550 balloons were launched, those that took off earlier returned to the field.Day 494 launch balloon NM 6994_land

     Here the “baby carriage” came in and landed.Day 494 launch balloon NM 6995_land

     It drooped as they began letting the hot air outDay 494 launch balloon NM 6998_land

     Until it collapsed, Day 494 launch balloon NM 7000_land

and was put away for tomorrow’s flight. 

Day 494 launch balloon NM 7001_land

     Post Script: I upgraded my subscription to WordPress today. You will no longer see advertisements. I try to respond to most comments left by you on these posts, but please remember to check the box that says: ” Notify me of new comments via email.” Otherwise you will not have the pleasure of my witty remarks. 


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