The day before you head to your chosen launch site, fully charge your flight computer and confirm the flight path predictions are favourable. Check that the flight computer is still sharing its location with you.
The launch site
On the day, when you arrive at the site, begin by preparing the flight train. Cut your cord into two equal lengths and attach to either end of the parachute.
Now you’re ready to fill up the balloon. Attach the hose on the cylinder and put on the gloves. Remove the balloon from its packaging, unfurl the neck of the balloon and insert the end of the hose up to the top of the neck. Use a cable tie to secure the balloon to the hose, grip it tightly and open the cylinder.
When the first cylinder runs out, pinch the hose at the end to prevent gas escaping and switch the hose to the next cylinder. Repeat with all three cylinders, pinching the hose in between to prevent the gas escaping.
Once all three cylinders are emptied into the balloon, carefully remove the hose from the neck, keeping a firm grip on the balloon at all times. Tighten the cable tie, tape the loose end down and tie the top of the parachute to the neck of the balloon. Keep a tight hold!
Turn on your flight computer, open Google Maps and enable location sharing, then open HVR and set it recording.
Put the flight computer into the Astropod and seal it up with the rubber bands. Tie it to the bottom of the parachute. Run a final prediction (just to make sure).
Now you’re ready to release the Astropod!
Travel to the predicted landing site and start monitoring the position of your Astropod. Because the Astropod’s tracking system relies on connection to the 4G network, it will not update while your Astropod is in flight. This is entirely normal.
Start refreshing the location of your Astropod after it has been in the air for two hours. Don’t refresh the location more than once every five minutes - this may compromise the accuracy of location updates.
Once you get the same location twice, your Astropod has landed. You can use Google Maps to navigate directly to the landing site, or program the coordinates into a satnav or other navigation device.
Travel to the landing site and retrieve your Astropod. All that’s left to do is get home and review your amazing footage from the edge of space!