For NatGeo, things are looking UP

Let’s start the weekend on an UP note with the National Geographic Channel’s brightly colored balloon launch. Inspired by the premise of the 2009 Pixar film UP, the makers of the NatGeo series “How Hard Can It Be?” decided to see whether it was possible and what it would take to launch a house into the air with the aid of only a bundle of balloons. Usually things exist in animation because they’re impossible to achieve in real life, but as you can see in the pictures the balloon launch was successful.

It took two weeks of preparation and a crew of engineers, scientists and balloon pilots to construct a 16-square-foot house and rig it to 300 balloons, each inflated with an entire helium tank and measuring eight feet tall. The house itself weighed 2,000 pounds, plus an additional 600 pounds of crew that stayed onboard. Once the house was released from its tethers it flew 10,000 feet in the air for about an hour, and set a record for the world’s largest cluster balloon flight ever attempted. So just how hard was it? According host Paul Carson, “It was pretty hard…it was very difficult actually.” No word yet on how the landing went. You’ll have to wait until the show airs this Fall to see.