OK, this one is just too cool for school. The G.I. Joe Field Manual V2 is coming out in a couple of months, (I just got the files to IDW last week!), so to celebrate Bill Forster, my co-author, actually shot Cobra Commander into space. Like, literally. Almost 20 miles up, 40,000 feet above the Armstrong's line, getting into the upper reaches of the troposphere. Check out our video here, complete with the curvature of the earth and everything.
After the G.I. Joe Field Manual Volume One was released, I was hard at work with Volume Two when I came across several videos taken of the curvature of the Earth. What was cool about them was it wasn’t done by NASA or the Air Force but rather by regular ol’ Earthlings. After showing one of these videos to my girlfriend Jillian she informed me that her brother had experience with these launches.
Jill’s brother, Jeff Wilschke is an engineer who for fun and research sends video cameras into the atmosphere. Jeff and I spoke about the details and then when the family got together for Thanksgiving he brought along the craft that would carry Cobra Commander over 100,000 feet into the air. It was a hollow Styrofoam cube which contained a GPS for locating the craft after it landed. It also had a video camera facing out a hole in the craft where a fiberglass plank extended from. There Cobra Commander would be glued in place. The craft also contained two tiny computers, one of Jeff’s own design, which would measure temperature, altitude and other sciencey stuff.
The panels served another purpose. The foil lining would be picked up by nearby aircraft sensors and would allow pilots to avoid crashing into our little experiment. Although FAA regulations state that our 4 pound craft was well below the weight required to use such tactics, Jeff felt it was worth the extra work.
Now he sits on my desk, I am fairly sure, having been the only Cobra figure to travel 102,000 feet into the air.
Pretty awesome stuff, no?
Cobra Commander, in space. Tell your friends.