Charlotte-Based Toyota Dealership Makes Historic Voyage, Sends Toy Tundra Up In Weather Balloon, Capturing Entire Journey On Film
Online PR News – 30-October-2012 – Charlotte/North Carolina – Video at: http://youtu.be/mJGcnMApXt4
October 25, 2012, [Matthews, NC ]…………Scott Clark Toyota endeavored to build and launch the first Toyota Tundra into space, succeeding on October 11, 2012 as they sent a toy Tundra to 90,000 feet over Charlotte, NC. Feeding off of the energy created by Toyota USA in preparing a stock Tundra truck to pull the space shuttle Endeavour to its final home at the California Science Center and, more recently, Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking jump from the edge of space, the team at Scott Clark Toyota devised a space mission of their own – to launch a Hot Wheels Toyota Tundra into space.
After some diligent research and a call to the FAA, the plan began to take shape. “This is the most ‘out-there’ idea we’ve ever had,” said Chris Frey, Scott Clark’s Business Development Director, adding, “But we have such a great team here at Scott Clark Toyota, I knew that we could pull it off.”
Onboard equipment included: a weather balloon able to take the package to the edge of space, a Hot Wheels Tundra outfitted with Scott Clark Toyota decals, a small HD camera aimed downward, an HD GoPro Camera framing the Tundra using the horizon as a backdrop, a cell phone to provide real time GPS tracking data, a parachute, and a very large latex weather balloon.
On launch day, the balloon ascended and traveled in an eastern direction as the FAA had predicted. Tracking data flowed, providing not only longitude and latitude, but also height and time stamps. As the Tundra disappeared from sight, the team was able to keep close track on its progress, until the cell phone left the cellular range at 30k feet, leaving the team in the dark until it re-entered cellular range 2 hours later. Initial estimates put the landing zone 50 miles to the east, but the landing area turned out to be in Aberdeen, NC, 90 miles away. Upon retrieval, the team learned that the Tundra reached 90,000 feet, effectively entering the edge of space as it floated in the earth’s atmosphere.
Unsure what the terrain would be at the landing site, the Scott Clark Recovery Team loaded up a ladder, a dirt bike, and a fishing pole. The aerial view map of the landing area indicated that it had landed right at the water’s edge, but the actual location could have been up to 1,000 feet in any direction. The package landed on State-owned land, in a rural area surrounded by dense growth. After about an hour of searching, the team spotted the bright yellow parachute across the lake from where they were.
Once the space package was secured, a quick evaluation determined that both recording devices were intact. The footage provided an epic video from perspectives rarely seen by human beings.
About Scott Clark Toyota www.scottclarkstoyota.com
Since 1972, Scott Clark Toyota has been a full-service Toyota dealer providing premier service to Mathews and the Greater Charlotte North Carolina Area. The dealership specializes in Toyota Sales, Finance, Service, and Parts. The company has sister dealerships in the area, namely Scott Clark Honda, Scott Clark Toyota City and Scott Clark Charlotte.