Minihab I Mission

On June 13th 2009 I launched my very own high altitude balloon. As far as  I know I was the first amateur to fly a balloon in
the stratosphere in Italy, and the launch was quite succesful.

The balloon flew for about 100 km,  the complete flight lasted about 2h 40m and collected 2.6 Gbyte of data, namely 1144 photos and 15 minutes of videos.

Maximum altitude was about 32 km. I say about because even if the manufacturer
said the GPS would work over 18km in this case it didn't and I had to
extrapolate the maximum altitude

Some photos

About 15km over lake Trasimeno, the camera looking down due to strong turbolence:

From high altitude (about 29km) looking west, you see the Tirrenian coast of Tuscany, with islands Elba and Capraia.
Further on you can clearly see Corsica. As we are extremely high, the sky is dark and you start seeing that the Earth is indeed round!

Again  the Tuscan coast, mount Argentario, Giglio island. Far away you can barely see Sardinia

Looking east, you see the other coast of Italy (the Hadriatic sea). Along the sea you can see Ancona and the dark spot of Mt Conero. Far away, clouds over the Dalmatian coast.

The videos

Last preparations and launch


Takeoff as seen from the balloon

wonderful transition from kids playing and dogs barking to silence and winds, up to about 2.500 meters


7.000 meters, very strong turbolence


13.000 meters, still some turbolence


24.000 meters: in the stratosphere

Astounding silence!! Nobody is there to make noise, and anyware air is so thin (abut 3% of the pressure we are used to)

360° Panoramas

What would it be like if you were hanging in the middle of the sky?


At about 1.000 meters above the Chianti hills
in the beginning the balloon went up so straight that I cannot even see my house, where I launched the balloon, as it's directly beneath the balloon, in the "black hole" in the panorama

At about 13.000 meters above the Lake Trasimeno
The turbolence was so trong that we have a very good coverage under the camera...

24.000 meters high
This is probably my best panorama.
I have highlighted some places in the image, explore the panorama with your mouse to explore them