Gallery: Real Life Version of the UP House Attached to 300 Balloons Tak...

Photos © National Geographic

We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw these wild images of a real-life version of the balloon-lofted house from the Pixar animated film UP on My Modern Met this morning. The house was launched from an air field east of LA by the National Geographic Channel to break the world record for the largest flight of balloons in a cluster. The amazing craft reached an altitude of 10,000 feet before gently returning to earth. Click past the break to see why and  how they did it.

The launch was filmed for a series on the National Geographic Channel called How Hard It Can Be? By the looks of it the lofty idea appears pretty straightforward (but we wouldn’t dare call it easy). All you need to do is take a 16 by 16 foot house, tether 300 8 foot diameter weather balloons to the 18 foot tall roof and let ‘er go! Behold the power of the balloon!

The experiment was the result of dedicated work by engineers, scientists, and two experienced balloon pilots.  The hour long trip took place on March 5th on a calm bright morning. Kids, please do not attempt this at home– or in this case, with your home.

+ National Geographic Channel

Via My Modern Met

Photos © National Geographic


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  1. February 19, 2013 at 2:56 am

    actually great factors here, just thank you

  2. Exarcha March 24, 2011 at 10:42 am

    All resources on the planet, being finite in supply, must henceforth be carefully rationed, preferably under the supervision of an elite panel of people smarter than everyone else. Especially with noble gases, any such usage which might merely induce joy and wonder in humans should be eliminated as superfluous and frivolous. Prepare yourselves for our dark gray, angst-ridden future.

  3. herman miller santa rosa March 15, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I too was wondering about the helium storage that Toniad mentioned.

    Since the article didn’t say what was used for the launch we shouldn’t assume it was Helium.

    I am a strong believe that our resources should be used wisely but being creative and thinking outside the box helps create and bring change.
    Innovative designs are what we need for the future, see whotrope group represents and their great work.

  4. Ran March 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Helium shortage? There’s nothing in this article that says the balloons used helium.

    In fact, weather balloons are usually filled with hydrogen, since it’s cheaper and more abundant.

    Although it may be possible that they used helium, since hydrogen is rather explosive and this project had human passengers.

    At any rate, be careful of what you assume.

  5. Erik van Lennep March 10, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Maybe….just maybe…we need to grow up and start allocating limited resources to uses other than stunts and gags?…-shortage.html

  6. erik van lennep March 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    And just how is this green design? or saving the world?

  7. mardela March 9, 2011 at 11:03 am

    WOW. This is amazing. I’m surprised saw that balloons make the real house flying. I must try this at my home when I get older and go to a dream land. Ups, but I don’t have that big balloon.

    Nice post. Love it 😀

  8. Eugene Kim March 9, 2011 at 3:26 am

    Thanks for the source. Your site is awesome!

  9. herman miller santa rosa March 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you for doing this experiment. Curiosity is a wonderful thing. Being a Pixar fan I was excited to see that balloons can indeed float a house. funiture santa rosa

  10. toniad March 8, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Wow – what a wonderful way to further deplete our limited helium resources. I couldn’t think of a better thing to do with this precious gas, oh wait, why don’t we try and lift a car now?

    Just think about that the next time you need to get an MRI.

    Yeah, yeah I know, I’m a big downer.. who doesn’t love balloons?

  11. Architectural Services ... March 8, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Brilliant idea and homage to a wonderful film. It was a reasonable sized house as well!!!

  12. johnpaul2012 March 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    This article states “Click past the break to see how and why they did it.” I don’t understand what that means, and can’t find any link that leads me to how and why they did it. Please clarify so that we can find out more.

    But nonetheless, a very fun and interesting experiment; a natural progression from “lawn chair Larry”. Thanks for posting.

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