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“Sputnik 2010: A Geocache Odyssey” GC2JPJJ GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK December 20, 2010

Image from "Sputnik 2010: A Geocache Odyssey"

“Sputnik 2010: A Geocache Odyssey” (GC2JPJJ) offers adventurers one of the joys of geocaching: an amazing story. This geocache literally traveled through space before being hidden in North Carolina.

On December 18th, team GAIAcaching hosted an event to launch a geocache into orbit. Team member Woyi organized the event. It’s only the third time a geocache container has traveled out of the earth’s atmosphere. The first geocache in space (GC1G3H2) was launched from the West Coast of the United States and has since been disabled. The second geocache in space resides aboard the International Space Station (GC1BE91).

More than 30 geocachers attended “Event Horizon!” to watch the geocache, containing Travel Bugs®, a H.D. camera, two Android phones along with a geocoin and other items lift into space carried by a giant inflatable balloon.

The geocache that traveled into space
Preparing for flight

The launch zone marks the first stage for this difficulty two, terrain three Multi-Cache.  After it lifted off, the geocache traveled approximately 124 miles. According to GAIAcaching team member, Waya, the balloon climbed to an altitude of 101,001 feet. During the decent Waya tells Latitude 47 the balloon reached a velocity of 130 miles an hour.

The landing zone is the final stage. The balloon touched down on private property. The team lead from GAIAcaching, e6c, worked with the land owner to allow geocachers access to find the cache.

The cache page instructs geocachers to let the homeowner know you’re geocaching for artifacts from space in his backyard. The balloon which carried the geocache also remains at the site for posterity.

Continue your exploration with some of the most engaging geocaches from around the world. Explore all the Geocaches of the Week on our blog or view the Bookmark List on Geocaching.com.