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Raspberry Pi space jaunt ends in dramatic mountain rescue

Slovakian team tracks stunning globes to snow-capped peak

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HAB fans stalk gorgeous globes

Armchair HAB aficionados were able to follow the two globes' progress online, although Anthony suffered intermittent transmission problems which led him to conclude late on Saturday night that his payload had been lost.

The lot of the two balloons seen on a Google map

PIE and AVA invade Europe

On Sunday morning, though, AVA was back on the air over the Czech Republic, just before balloon burst and a landing on an Austrian mountain, right here.

Cue an audacious rescue mission by Brano Janicek, Juraj Marsalik, Radim Mutina and Peter Vittek - a group of Slovakian HAB enthusiasts from stsproject.net, who assembled their kit...

The recovery team prepares to find the AVA payload

The Slovakian recovery team prepares for the ascent

...and assaulted the slopes of Arabichi:

The AVA recovery team trekking up a mountain

The team sets off in search of AVA

The mission ended in complete success when they found the remains of the balloon...

The remains of the balloon in the snow

Shredded latex

...and AVA, still smiling:

The AVA payload recovered on a snow-capped mountain

Peter Vittek, Radim Mutina and Juraj Marsalik pose with AVA.
Pic: Brano Janicek

XXX poses with the recovered AVA payload

Peter Vittek and AVA

Dave's Pi payload, meanwhile, decided not to follow its projected course towards Poland, and hung a right to transverse Switzerland, before probably coming down in France on Sunday morning.

It's possible he may get PIE back, if locals bearing flaming torches and pitchforks don't take exception to its unnatural pinkness.

There's more on the flights from Anthony and Dave here and here, respectively. Thanks to them and the other photographers for permission to use the above snaps. ®

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