Space Enthusiasts Send Star Trek Captains Picard and Kirk Into Space SATURDAY, MAY 5TH, 2012

CHICAGO – April 30, 2012 – Space enthusiasts and student engineers will gather on May 5 to boldly go where no Star Trek character has actually gone before, accompanied by Star Trek’s finest: Captains Jean-Luc Picard and James T. Kirk.  A team of more than a dozen individuals, backed by over 100 donors on Kickstarter, will launch models of the iconic science fiction characters standing atop their respective starships into near space riding a high-altitude balloon to a height of 120,000 feet, an altitude just shy of the high-altitude balloon world record.

View the Kickstarter project:

The capsule—which includes Picard, Kirk, Riker, Data, and other action figures, six cameras and detailed life-like models of Picard’s USS Enterprise-D and Kirk’s NCC-1701 starships—is one of the most elaborate capsules ever launched in an amateur, high altitude balloon flight.

The six cameras on the rig will shoot the entire journey in rich 3D, while a team from the University of Illinois Observatory will use the balloon’s GPS coordinates to track and record video of the balloon from the ground during its entire flight—a first for projects of this kind.

This incredible crowdfunded journey to the edge of space also includes two stowaways: custom-made action figures of the two men responsible for 2009’s Star Trek movie, director J.J. Abrams and co-writer Roberto Orci.
“I’m a huge Star Trek fan,” says project lead Logan Kugler, an entrepreneur and space enthusiast based in Silicon Valley. “I’ve watched more than 20,000 minutes of Star Trek in total and it’s done more to expand my imagination than anything else. Picard and Kirk are the heroes of this incredibly inspiring fictional world and they’ve never actually been to space—so I think it’s time we send them there.”

Only a handful of amateur, high-altitude balloon flights have made it above 100,000 feet.  Their pure latex Kaymont balloon will expand to over 40 feet wide as it carries Picard, Kirk and half a dozen cameras, digital packets and advanced GPS and HAM trackers to 120,000 feet—making it one of the most complex rigs to reach that height. The flight will also make the Starfleet captains the second highest “people” in the world, behind only the astronauts on the International Space Station. At the flight’s climax, it will be above 99% of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Paying customers will also be aboard: two authors arranged to have their new books sent up into near space. Thanks to the six on-board cameras and an advanced square superstructure designed by launch director, Spencer Gore, each starship and item aboard will star in its own video with no overlap.

After the roughly three-hour flight, the team will create a film of their exploits with Max Schlickenmeyer, the videographer behind YouTube’s three-million-hit video, “The Most Astounding Fact.” Once Picard and company safely return to Earth, the action figures (which also include popular characters Commander Riker and Data) will be handed over to their real-life counterparts.
“I think this is something that every Star Trek fan wants to see before they die,” says Kugler.

Two starship captains, 6 action figures, 2 starships, 6 cameras (plus 4 more on the ground), and a launch crew of more than a dozen will send Captain Picard and Captain Kirk to the edge-of-space and return them safely to the Earth on May 5th from Champaign, Illinois.

In the famous words of Captain Picard, “Make it so.”

ALSO, while we’ve already reached our funding goal on Kickstarter, we have some *awesome* rewards left.
But only 24 hours remain and it closes forever at noon tomorrow!
● Star Trek communicator button that will have flown to edge of space with Picard and Kirk
● Producer credit (get to say you’ve helped produce a film starring Picard and Kirk going to space — for real!)
● The *actual* Kirk action figure or model of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 that Kirk flies to the edge of space on
Here’s a shortcut to our Kickstarter page:
Filed under: Toys


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