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Pumpkins In Space!

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Published on Oct 21, 2013

"Pumpkins in Space!" was filmed at the end of September, 2013. "Patches", our specially selected Irish grown pumpkin was designed by Total Produce's Fruit Sculptor in-Chief, Sandeep Pandey. This short film chronicles the extraordinary voyage of one young boy and his humble Halloween pumpkin.

The launch required 3.5 cubic metres of Helium in a 1600gm balloon, attached to a holding platform for Patches and a mounted camera to record the journey. The overall weight of the payload was 2300gm. A central pole was attached to the balloon. The camera was subsequently attached to the protruding arm and below hung the tracking and recovery devices in a protective case. A 5 foot parachute was positioned between the payload and the balloon. It deployed as soon as the balloon burst to cushion Patches fall.

On release, he accelerated some 5 metres a second. He would ultimately travel some 30-32km into the stratosphere, encountering temperatures as low as -20. As the balloon rises, it expands until, at approximately 30km it bursts and the descent to Earth begins. This was tracked all the way by a GPS chip embedded in the platform. Descent takes considerably less time than ascent, lasting just 30 minutes.

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