High Altitude Balloons

Throughout a decade of launching weekly ozonesondes high in to the stratosphere to measure the Earth's protective ozone layer, naturally one question kept coming up...  Can we put a camera up there?  Using all of the launching and tracking skills I've learned from over 500 flights, and pouring over the federal balloon regulations with a fine tooth comb (Please, please read the rules and regulations before attempting any high altitude balloon flights...) I began tracking weather conditions and flight predictions on a regular basis.  There are really only a handful of days per year where everything comes together and I am able to pull the trigger on flying my camera.  There are no guarantees, and I say goodbye to my camera when I let go just in case, but I've been incredibly fortunate with some of the views I've been able to collect.  The balloon rises to above 100,000 feet.  That is high above commercial and military jets, but far, far below the top-down view from satellites.  98% of all the Earth's air molecules sit below the camera, leaving the sky inky black.  Then the balloon bursts and the package tumbles violently until the parachute catches the thickening air far below.  Then you have to track it down and find it...