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LOHAN's Punch and Judy show: The big fat round-up

All the action from 'Baconur' - Blighty's renamed space flight centre

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And so without further ado, the moment had arrived to get Punch into the air:

Dave Akerman fills the Punch balloon

Dave and Anthony with the filled balloon

Anthony and Dave move the payload and balloon across the launch field

The balloon and payload rise into the air

Here's a quick montage of Picam images as the payload rose majestically heavenwards:

A montage from the Punch Picam as the balloon ascends

In case you're wondering, the little blue flag is the PAVA tracker name label, fixed to one of the antennas. The Picam had a wide-angle lens fitted, which isn't top quality, but gives a decent field of view to capture rocket motor blasts.

Or not, as the case may be, because a blown fuse in SPEARS scuppered the test. There will be more on the reason for that later in the week, when we'll reveal the comedy oversight behind the fail.

Having seen Punch off, and got Judy in the air (see below), it was into the pursuit vehicles and on the road as the payload drifted eastwards:

Dave Akerman in one of the pursuit vehicles

Here's the track from the Picam rig (callsign "RICHARD")...

The RICHARD track shown on spacenear.us

...and there's a .kmz of the flight here.

Balloon burst came at 27,986m, and the payload came down in a field just off the A46 close to Evesham in Worcestershire:

Google Earth satellite image of the Punch landing site

The field where the Punch payload landed

The Punch payload lying in the field. Pic by Anthony Stirk

While you imagine the conversation between the rather bemused farmer who owned the field and Anthony Stirk, who quite correctly went off to get permission to recover Punch, enjoy a second Picam montage of the descent:

Montage of Picam images of the Punch descent

With Anthony tackling local landowners, myself and Dave rushed of in pursuit of...

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Next page: Judy

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