Well, here we go! It’s Tuesday morning, the 8th September, and we’re finally ready to launch Andover’s first spacecraft, Spayce McSpaceFace. The capsule’s been built, we’ve got gallons of helium, the GPS system is finally working, and we’ve installed a USB stick full of people’s hopes and memories of Andover on the inside. We’ve prepared as much as we can, and now we have to wait and see what happens. The balloon should go up fairly easily. Gravity means it’ll definitely come down. And we’ve got a purpose-built parachute from Stratoflights in Germany, which means it should float down in a safe fashion. My main worry now is the GPS system – what if the spaceship lands somewhere, but we can’t find it? Throughout the flight, I’ll be glued to a screen watching the flight path on the GPS (while sitting in the back of Andover Radio’s chase car), but above a certain altitude we’re likely to lose the GPS system. It should come back on line on its way back down, but that’ll be a nervous whilebefore we hear from it again… As a last resort, the ship does also have my phone number on it, so if it lands in your back garden please do give me a ring!
This whole project has been such an adventure, so I really wanted to take a minute now to thank everyone who’s helped to make it happen. The team at Chapel Arts Studios have been amazing: supportive, positive and always up for making the experience the best it can be for everyone. We’ve worked with two absolutely fantastic community partners on the project: both Andover Young Carers and the Picket Twenty Fillies WI have been a total joy to get to know and to collaborate with. And Andover Radio have been super-supportive of the project, lending us their time, their expertise, and today, their car. Thanks everyone – it’s been a blast!
All being well, Spayce McSpaceFace will launch at about 11.20am today and fly for between two and three hours. We’ll be posting about the flight from Chapel Arts Studios and Upstart Theatre’s social media feeds using the hashtag casAIRspace. Do give us a follow, and wish us luck!
Whatever happens today, the Andover Space Programme has already been a brilliant adventure for me and the rest of the team. Let’s get ready for liftoff!
watch: instagram.com/casartists #casAIRspace