2002 Burning Man Balloon Project

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Patri Rising 5
With 21 balloons and no wind, we had enough lift to get me a fair ways up.
Patri Risen
About 40 feet seemed to be the limit, due to the weight of the rope and attached carabiners. Also, even the slightest wind pushed the cluster sideways and reduced our attainable height considerably.
Hanging Out
It was a great view from up there, and I hung out for a little while and enjoyed it.
Back Down
My co-architect Brian and the rest of our hard-working crew deserved their chances to get high too, so I reluctantly descended.
Troy helps me safely to the ground.
(Troy, Patri)
Barbarella of Belaying
Dawn, the Barbarella of Belaying, pulls Patri down, aided by a spectator. The project attracted lots of participants, and they were very useful as additional labor.
(Patri's leg, Participant, Dawn)
Strapping Brian
Project co-architect Brian inspects his harness and tie-ins. Unfortunately, we were not able to develop enough lift to get Brian (at 130 lbs) very far into the air. Balloons started occasionally popping (usually during wind gusts) at the same rate we were adding them to the tower. However, people were able to jump 10-20 feet in the air, which was quite a lot of fun.
(Jason, Brian, Participant)
Jumpin' Genius
Unlike many PhD students in pure mathematics, Brian was willing to get his hands dirty actually building things.

Jump, Genius, Jump!
Dainty Dawn
Dainty Dawn dances along the ground...
(Participant, Dawn, Troy)
Dawn Skyleap
then leaps high into the air.