RE/MAX Ballunar Liftoff Festival & NASA Open House (a non-hosted public event)

The RE/MAX Ballunar Liftoff Festival is a public annual event held at NASA/Johnson Space Center in Clear Lake TX.  This year’s festival starts Friday September 28th at 6:00 PM and lasts until Sunday September 30th at noon.

This truly is a one-of-a-kind tribute to human flight.  Hot air balloon events include:

·  Two Mass Ascensions where the skies are filled with 50+ balloons;

·   Two evening Balloon Glows where inflated tethered balloons are lit using the gas flame burners;

·    Hare and Hound Chases where several “hound” balloons chase one “hare” balloon testing navigational skills;

·    The Shuttle Rendezvous where balloon crews try to place a hula hoop over a small weather balloon;

·    Target drops where balloon pilots throw bean bags are thrown from the air to win prizes and bragging rights.

Exhibition sky diving events are scheduled with an early morning jump that usually involves lights and smoke.  NASA’s open house is Saturday from 9 to 5 with astronaut autographs from 11 to 3.  There’s music all day long and many other cool events on schedule.

The full event description and schedule is online at http://www.ballunarfestival.com.  Admission is $10 per car load which includes parking at NASA/Johnson Space Center.  Best advise - plan on being early!!!  This is a popular event and parking takes time.

This is a public event and will not be hosted by HPN.  The intent of this posting is to advise all members of this one of a kind event, a fabulous opportunity for great shots.  If you'd like to meet up with other members please feel free to sign up and add comments advising your plans and how other members may contact you.   

Photography tips for hot air balloons images can be found online at several sites.  Here’s just a few:

http://camera47.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/11-tips-for-photographing-hot-air-balloons/

http://www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=7

http://www.apogeephoto.com/aug2009/along82009.shtml

http://www.ephotozine.com/article/photographing-hot-air-balloons-14292

http://www.balloonlife.com/publications/balloon_life/9702/photo.htm

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  • Liem B.

    I went Friday night and the weather was perfect. Stayed overnight at the Microtel Inn just to find out that the event was cancelled when I came back in the afternoon.

    September 30, 2012

  • Carol

    Due to weather the event will not be opening today. Details are published on the event's website and Facebook page.

    September 30, 2012

  • Menno

    Pleasant

    September 28, 2012

  • Alice C.

    Thanks!

    September 28, 2012

  • Alice C.

    With the weather and now swollen sore throat, I forced to stay home. Irritates me since I have been planning this

    September 28, 2012

    • Carol

      Hoping you feel better soon Alice.

      September 28, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had planned to be there Friday evening and Saturday morning, but now I'm not sure about the weather (rain potential) ... anyone have any suggestions ??

    September 27, 2012

  • Carol

    Alex, if you buy your tickets online it's $10 per day or $25 for the entire weekend http://www.ballunarfestival.com. The event schedule is posted at http://www.ballunarfestival.com/dschedule.asp. For the balloons - the schedule shows balloons launches Saturday and Sunday morning at 7:30 AM, and 5:30 PM Saturday. Balloon glows are scheduled for both Friday and Saturday evening at 8:00 PM. Great shots can be captured all day long at any of the events scheduled!

    September 23, 2012

  • Alice C.

    We are going Fri eve to get the glow. More goin on Sat. Just depends on whar you want to photograph. You can get day pass or weekend pass.

    September 23, 2012

  • Liem B.

    For anyone living outside of Houston, this hotel looks like a great convenient place to stay as it is right across the NASA Space Center. I had booked for 2 nights so I could be there for the early morning launches:

    Microtel Inn and Suites Houston
    1620 NASA Parkway, 77058 Houston It's rated 2* and only costs around $55.00 per night.

    1 · September 2, 2012

  • Carol

    Oops, thanks for finding my typo Patricia! As the schedule shows, it starts Friday 9/28 and ends Sunday 9/30.

    September 2, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Did u got the dates wrong? U say starts on the 28th of September and ends 20th of september

    September 2, 2012

  • Carol

    It's a fun community event - you will enjoy it!

    September 1, 2012

  • Alice C.

    Awesome advice! Thanks! I think we are goin on Saturday, much more goin on.

    September 1, 2012

  • Carol

    Hi Alice! Much depends on the events you're interested in. The schedule is at http://www.ballunarfestival.com/dschedule.asp. For the morning balloon event, be there when the gates open to see the balloon crews in action and the launch. For the 5:30 event arrive not later than 3:30 to allow time for parking and walking around. There's much to see so consider arriving earlier in the day to see the NASA exhibits.

    I take a backpack for equipment, sunscreen, and water along with small change for vendors.

    The links above have good advice for shooting balloons - I highly recommend reading these and any others you can find online. What has worked for me (not an expert): For morning shots, a[masked] lens with a circular polarizing filter, fast shutter speeds 1/250+. At evening balloon glows, a[masked] lens, ISO 1000, expose manually and bracket. Metering is challenging when the burners are lit.

    Most importantly - enjoy the event!!!

    September 1, 2012

  • Alice C.

    We have never been. Any reccomendations on when to arrive Saturday morning? What to bring? Etc?

    August 31, 2012

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