More than 30 balloons launch daily if conditions are right. The weather has to be calm, but not too calm, or the balloons won’t have enough lift to launch. Because the weather is often calmest early in the morning, we waited out in the cold, just before dawn, for the announcement. At 6:15am, the word came that, yes, they would fly.
The balloons are brought in by cars and trucks. The first step is to get the basket out and attach the burner system. Next, the balloon is attached to the basket and spread out on the ground. Thousands of square meters of material make up a balloon. It has to be big and strong enough to carry the pilots, any passengers, and the basket.
This year, we saw a space helmet and a balloon called “Beagle Maximus.” Can’t you imagine the song “Up, Up, and Away” playing as the mighty beagle takes to the sky?