FS #5 launch update 2020-3-10
The primary launch date of March 14th is looking good. There is a large and wet weather system passing through southern California for the next few days, but the predictions are for sunny weather on Saturday March 14th 9AM out in the Mojave desert launch locations. The only major concern at this point is what will the surface winds be like on that morning. Too windy and it will become hard to launch the balloon.
The passing storm will make some of the candidate launch locations too wet to enter, for example Lucerne Dry Lake may not be dry and when wet it is impassable. I believe a better location will be up in the Stoddard Wells area at Outlet Center Drive at the I-15. This is the location we launched FS4 from with success and is good sandy well drained soil and close to the freeway exit.
The current flight prediction from this launch location will take the balloon almost due East with a landing somewhere in Arizona near the western end of the Grand Canyon. The amount of positive lift on the balloon will ultimately determine the flight time before burst and ultimately the distance traveled. Given the distance and remoteness of that part of Arizona, I won’t have any expectations of a recovery. The flight time will be around 5 hours.
I will send out periodic updates, so stay tuned,
73s de Don KJ6FO