August 12, 2017 was our first balloon launch from Punta Bandera which is on the west end of the lake exactly 32 air miles upwind of El Calafate airport. Airbus Perlan Mission II just got permission to launch a weather balloon from Punta Bandera. It's a bit complicated with the B team (Balloon) driving to the west 50 km and the C team (Communication and Computers) driving to the east 20 km. But the procedure of launching at daybreak is still working. By the time the balloon floated over El Calafate town it was at 30,000 feet.
The rest of the day was devoted to rest and relaxation. Almost the entire team took off for the first time in a month. (The rest of the blog is about an awesome Patagonia Glacier and Iceberg cruise.)