The Nerdery marked its 10-year anniversary by launching a coin etched with company core values and vision into space – and shot video with Earth as the coin’s backdrop as the weather balloon and its payload hits its peak altitude, 97,364 feet. The Nerdery Astronomical and Space Alliance’s (or, NASA) Project Icarus launched from Eagle Lake Observatory in Norwood Young-America, MN. Icarus landed just east of Bay City, WI.
The first 30 seconds of the video are launch footage, then the next 30 seconds is images from the craft at its highest elevation (18 miles high). The next minute (slowed down so you can see it) shows the weather balloon bursting and the craft getting thrown into some chaos, and the last 20 seconds shows the actual crash (87 miles from where it launched). (The Nerdery’s) NASA expected Icarus top out at around 70,000, but benefited from warmer weather.
“As it was descending, we were pretty scared that it was going to land in the Mississippi river,” said (the other) NASA’s Bob Amaden. ”It ended up on a wooded spit of land sticking into the river. Only about a hundred yards from the water! Our onboard GPS Spot Tracker led us pretty much to the exact spot where it landed. Even though it was surrounded by tall trees, it was on the ground and fully intact. We got really lucky. The fact that we were able to actually find it before the sun even went down feels like a huge win for us.”
Commemorating a decade of Nerdery by launching a the company’s core values coin into space kicked off Core Values Week, which will conclude Friday, November 1 with a 4 p.m. staff viewing of Nerdery CEO Mike Derheim’s Ted Talk, titled “What if everyone at your company was a Co-President? Moving toward its vision to be the best place in the world for nerds to work, The Nerdery analyzed past decisions from its history to ensure that future choices are grounded in company core values: “Constantly push boundaries; Integrity in all circumstances; Solve problems pragmatically; Be humble; Win by empowering people.”
Space-bound supplies were paid for in part by Nerdery staff (Nerds) purchasing shirts and patches commemorating the interactive design and development company’s 10-year anniversary. Per usual, co-founders Mike Schmidt and Mike Derheim were on the hook for footing the rest of the bill, same as it ever was for Nerdery boondoggles of this ilk. “Thank you to everyone who contributed funds, and the Mikes for cheerleading us on! ” said NASA’s (again, not that NASA) Gabrielle Suglia. “That’s one of the things we love about this place is that we all help each other reach our goals!”