Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ballunar Liftoff Festival 2009

Every year at NASA/Johnson Space Center since 1994, there is a Ballunar Liftoff Festival and ever since we heard about it, we were looking forward to going. Well, it was this Friday-Sunday so we decided to go over on Saturday.
When we got up in the morning, we looked out our bedroom window and we could see hot air balloons rising up. There were several of them flying around the area. Since NASA is only about 2-3 blocks from us, we could also see the skydivers coming down in their parachutes. It was quite a sight to see.
This is what we saw out our balcony.

More balloons in the distance.

We ended up going over to the festival mid-morning, but we ended up missing the balloons at first. They take off from there early morning, land somewhere else, then they don't come back to the air field until later that evening. There was a bunch of other things going on until then though, so we just checked it all out. There was live entertainment on stage, food vendors, craft booths, and rides for the kids.

This is a model airplane that they were flying around. When we first saw it in the air, it looked real. They had model planes along with model helicopters.

All day long they would have a team of skydivers land in the air field. There were 3 teams total and each team took turns going up in the plane, then jumping out. When the plane dropped off one group, it would head back to Ellington Air Field about 10 miles away, and pick up the next group, and thats what they did all day. I couldn't imagine jumping out a plane once, let alone doing it several times in one day!!

Kenzie and Aydan holding puppets from one of the vendors.

Also at the festival, they had a salute to law enforcement and there were some police cars, firetrucks, and ambulances from nearby towns. Here is Kenzie and Aydan in the back of a police truck. The officer said they use it mostly for water rescues.

Here they are in front of a police Hummer.

Sitting in a firetruck.

One of the fireman offered to take a picture of all of us.

Kenzie in front of a fire rescue boat.

After another skydiving performance, Kenzie was helping this skydiver pack up his parachute. She thought that was pretty cool. He said he has had triple by-pass surgery and skydiving doesn't bother him a bit! Yikes, you would have to push me off the plane. I couldn't do it!

This is the entrance to Johnson Space Center. We were until mid-afternoon then went home for a bit because we were all getting pretty tired and wore out. We headed back in the evening when we knew the balloons would be coming back and we could see them landing on our way back.

They landed in a parking lot, then each one was packed up into their truck or van and brought back onto the air field. Here, everyone unloaded their balloons and got them ready to be inflated again.

Here they are starting to get air into them. It took a while before they were all up and ready.

You can kind of see the Energizer Bunny balloon. Its ears are sticking up behind the Curves balloon and you can see its white tail. I think that was the biggest balloon there.

They gather all the balloons at night as part of what they call the Balloon Glow where all the balloons light up at once. It looks pretty cool when they do it.

We took this one from farther away so you could see more of the balloons, but this still doesn't show how many there were. There's a bunch more behind all of these. It is one of the biggest balloon festivals in the world.

We had a good time. I'm glad we went; its not something you get to see everyday.
Check out the post below for pictures from the NASA open house we went to.

1 comment:

JODI said...