Alert: US Weather Balloon May be in Rondeau

A group of Michigan State University students are seeking the public’s help in finding a weather balloon launched on Thursday. November 29, 2012.

Carrying five high-definition cameras, it is believed to have landed in Lake Erie south of Rondeau Provincial Park, said student Kirk Mason.

“We’ve got two signals back from the GPS … It seemed like it was moving pretty fast east,” he told The Chatham Daily News.

The white balloon has an orange-and-white parachute, and is carrying a white capsule.

Mason said the balloon was about 10 feet across upon launch, but that it likely expanded as it went higher in the atmosphere and the pressure dropped.

He said it eventually exploded, noting it should look like some white rubber shreds.

It was launched at 12:30 p.m. from the National Weather Service in Pontiac, Mich.

“We’re making a documentary about it as well,” Mason said, noting there will be many photos and footage.

He said it’s the first time this group of students has launched a balloon. The program he’s involved with is called the “Media Sandbox.”

“I launched rockets a couple of hundred feet into the air when I was 10, but nothing this big,” he said. “And especially attaching cameras to it. That’s something new — none of us has done that before too.”

Anyone with information on the balloon’s whereabouts can contact Mason at 517-706-9233 or kirkmason82@gmail.com

– trevor.terfloth@sunmedia.ca