ALPHARETTA, Ga., July 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- This really was a space odyssey for one presidential candidate bobblehead. Bobbleheads.com attached a bobblehead of Donald Trump, standing on a podium flanked by American flags, to a high altitude weather balloon. The bobblehead was trimmed for weight and carried three GPS trackers and a camera to record the momentous event. The launch occurred in Suwanee, Georgia.
Why send the bobblehead into space? Warren Royal, founder of Bobbleheads.com, got the idea from a 2012 "Obama in Space" video on YouTube. "The Obama bobblehead was one of our Royal Bobbles products and I thought that was really cool," Royal said. "Since then, we have been trying to find the right product and the right time to do it, and with the upcoming election, we felt that this was a great time."
Trump in Space video
This is the high point of the launch, at an altitude of over 103,000 feet above the surface of the earth.
This is shortly after launch, above Suwanee, Georgia.
"We decided to go with Mr. Trump first because he is far and away our best-selling bobblehead at the moment. We figured that we would do him first and then if we had the time, we would try to do Hillary and other popular figures later."
Royal also wanted to make it perfectly clear that this was non-partisan, simply meant to be a fun event. "We're not taking sides," he added – "We have something for everyone."
It took nine months of planning to prep for the Trump space launch and a team of five people with engineering, GPS satellite tracking, video and bobblehead experience to pull this together. They also had to file a flight plan and get clearance from the FAA.
The helium-filled balloon, with the Trump bobble and the "payload," lifted off on Sunday, May 15. It climbed to an altitude of 103,339 feet, which took about two hours; then the balloon burst, which it is designed to do at that height.
The bobblehead landed in Abbeville, SC, about 3.5 hours from the launch site, at the top of a very tall tree. Royal said the landowner helped retrieve it, knocking it down with a few well-placed shotgun blasts.
"This was more time-consuming and complicated than we thought," said Royal. "We are glad we did it, though, it was amazing!"
The entire launch assembly – bobblehead, podium, flags and microphone – will be displayed in a shadowbox at the company's Georgia headquarters.
For video of the launch, check out this link. A second "behind the scenes" video of the retrieval is in production now and will be published soon.
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Contact: Warren Royal
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Video - https://youtu.be/xLHUWQin9Eg
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160707/387284
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160707/387285