The team elected to use the Insta360 platform and equipment because it has previously shown itself capable of operating at extreme temperatures. At 24,650m, temperatures are as low as -45 degrees Celsius (-49 degrees Fahrenheit). Hi-Impact L&D said, ‘We used to use a fly360 camera but it stopped working after a few years of going to the edge of Space and we required something to replace it. It was good to know that the camera would survive the temperatures and that the image quality was going to be really good, so we opted for the X2 and haven’t been disappointed!’
To mark #earthday2022 we are sharing this stunning picture of our planet, captured from our space balloon launch. This is a reminder to us all of how beautiful our planet is and how important it is to protect it 💚🌍#investinourplanet #earthday @EarthDay @insta360 pic.twitter.com/dORLapXmcT
— hi-impact media (@hiimpactmedia_) April 22, 2022
During the launch, the wind was quite high, so the team opted to reduce the amount of helium in its weather balloon to ensure that the balloon wouldn’t get too far away. The team has previously had flights reach 33,000 m (108,000′), but the conditions for the latest launch weren’t amenable to another 30,000m-plus flight plan. ‘The weather was terrible for this flight. Very high winds, cold temperatures, and lots of rain as we were preparing to launch. The camera survived the conditions admirably but obviously, the image quality is reduced by the rain on the upper facing lens,’ said Hi-Impact L&D.
The Insta360 X2 recorded for nearly two hours during the balloon’s ascent. Once the balloon burst and the camera made its descent to Earth, the team needed to track it down for recovery. The team uses different tracking methods, including a GPS tracker (SPOT Messenger) and a mobile phone with a tracking app. Coincidentally, these both failed. Fortunately, there’s a third tracker linked to a Raspberry pi computer and this system worked until the balloon nearly reached the ground.
This isn’t the only time an Insta360 camera has been extremely high up. Last December, the team at NewMakeIt sent an Insta360 X2 up to over 30,000m (100,000′). The success of that flight helped Hi-Impact L&D settle on the Insta360 X2 for its most recent flight.