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SPEARS joins the 19-mile-high club: Intimate snaps

Spaceplane test flight mission photos for your viewing pleasure

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The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Behold, the payload aloft

So, once in the air, we were recording video on the main payload camera...

The CHAV aircraft just after launch, from the main payload camera

Another shot from the main payload camera, as the CHAV ascends

The CHAV rises above Brightwalton, as seen from the main payload camera

The CHAV aircraft seen from the main payload on its ascent

The CHAV aircraft seen from the main payload camera at 60,000ft

...while the Raspberry Picam in the CHAV's nose grabbed stills:

Montage of flight images from the Raspberry Picam

In pursuit, our impressive six-vehicle convoy pulled over from time to time to check the flight's progress...

The pursuit convoy parked up waiting for the payload to land

...anxiously staring at the live tracker map on a laptop, as Dave's main onboard Windows PC agonisingly installed updates and generally faffed about:

Rob and John outside Dave's pursuit car, as we wait for the payload to land

High above our heads, the Picam continued to grab spectacular images from aloft...

Montage of flight images from the Raspberry Picam

Another montage at altitude from the Raspberry Picam

Montage of images from the Picam at around 100,000ft

...before balloon burst at 34,571m (113,421ft) and a fairly rapid descent. This video has footage from the main payload camera and then a video sequence from the Picam as the plane and payload crashed into trees just south of Perham Down on the edge of Salisbury Plain:

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