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Canadian Redditors Are On the Hunt for a Lost Space Balloon

It was in Bobcaygeon that I saw the constellations reveal themselves one balloon at a time.

by Jordan Pearson
Oct 11 2016, 4:06pm

Image: Flickr/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

A weather balloon launched into the the stratosphere by rookie astronomers at Michigan State University went AWOL on Monday night, and floated all the way into Ontario, Canada until it crash landed near the town of Bobcaygeon Tuesday morning.

No word on if the balloon was fleeing a Trump presidency or if it's just a really big fan of the Tragically Hip, but Canadian Redditors are now hunting the balloon down in rural Ontario.

"We went to the predicted landing site after we'd launched the balloon and never heard back from the GPS," said Seth Bruzewski, vice president of the Michigan State University Astronomy Club, which launched the balloon. "After about an hour there, we figured that something had gone wrong—maybe the balloon popped and got tangled in the parachute and crashed."

Read More: This Scientist Says He Keeps Finding Aliens In the Stratosphere

After a stressful night, Bruzewski said, he finally got a ping from the balloon's GPS, indicating it had finally dipped below 10,000 feet.

"I got a notification that said the balloon had actually landed and stayed there—and that place just happened to be Bobcaygeon," he paused, "I think that's how it's pronounced?" He did, in fact, pronounce it correctly.

This posed a problem for the Michigan-based astronomy club: their balloon is now a six hour drive into Canada. So, Bruzewski turned to Reddit and asked if any Canadians in the area would mind retrieving the balloon.

It could've been the Willie Nelson, or it could've been the wine, but for whatever reason, Canadians stepped up to find the lost balloon.

"I live close to Bobcaygeon," one Reddit user wrote. "I get home from work around 6 PM EST. Message me around 4 PM if you need my help."

"I'm in Peterborough [a city near Bobcaygeon], msg me the coordinates and I'll go looking for it," wrote another. "Nothing like a hunt.

"I've actually had to say to some offers, hey, we actually have a few people in the area so you don't have to make a two hour drive," Bruzewski said. "It's seriously been amazing how some people are reacting and wanting to help."

This article will be updated when some kind hoser picks up these Americans' lost balloon.

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