Kisses from the strat



As of May 16th 2018, 00:07 Swedish Time, AESOP-Lite is in the air, and Roger has officially become the first koala to experience space-like conditions (a claim that is  unfortunately impossible to corroborate…).

To totally misquote Jane Austen, it is a truth scientifically acknowledged that the third time is indeed the charm. After two consecutive attempts at launch, cancelled due to uncooperative weather, our payload finally took off on its cosmic journey to Northern Canada through the stratosphere. Any attempt to describe the intense combination of dread and elation we felt as the ballon was released, the pin connecting the gondola to the crane pulled, might fall flat (a tragic event, had it happened to our balloon…)


Our gondola hanging from the crane


The beginning of inflation, no Bang this time


Bye bye birdie

The night was short, as we immediately started tracking its altitude and position, and monitor our instrument, bombarded by particle showers as we climbed through the troposphere. After 3 hours, we reached a float altitude of 138kft, without dropping any ballast.

So far so good, we are getting organized taking shifts and letting the weary get some much needed rest.

Currently, the payload is leaving the coast of Norway, and if we care to be more exact…



Payload position as of 13:14:06Z 05/16/18

Latitude: 68°43.38 N

Longitude: 15°26.00 E

Altitude: 135576 Feet

Heading: 12.85 Knots @ 262.00°


Categories: Esrange, Sweden

9 replies

  1. Congratulations ! … I want to ask …besides the Koala, there is another “piggyback” payload onboard?


  2. AesopLite just landed in Ellesmere Island…. do you know what is the current condition of the instrument? Many thanks in advance.


  3. On a previous AESOP flight I included a stuffed raindeer (bought in one of the tourist shops in Kiruna) in the lower flight deck. My wife is the proud owner of a flying raindeer. 🙂


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