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Ascent Performance Videos

Didn’t make it to Ascent in May? No sweat! Below are four videos from the live performance May 19th. Let us know what you think!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

The Ascent Poster

Dark Matter is proud to unveil our poster for Ascent, featuring a stunning image of Kansas City taken from 95,000 feet up.  The poster is 11″X17″ and is available to purchase for $10.  All proceeds support the production of Ascent.   Please email to order a poster.

The Ascent Poster featuring a stunning image of Kansas City photographed from 95,000 feet!

The Official Promotional Trailer for “Ascent”

As we approach the performance of “Ascent” May 18 and 19, we’d like to share with you a taste of the music and imagery you’ll see and hear.  The video is available in HD if you watch it directly on YouTube.  Enjoy!


Daniel Eichenbaum Interviewed by Art Aperitif

Dan was recently interviewed by Lyndsey Ogle for Art Aperitif.  Lyndsey is in the process of interviewing artists in and from Kansas City asking them about how Kansas City and technology have influenced their art and art practice.  Below is the link to Art Aperitif along with the Youtube video:


Yesterday’s Flight

Some updates on yesterday’s marathon flight:

-Duration of approximately 4.5 hours covering a ground distance of about 223 miles from launch to touch down.

-Top speed of 92 MPH with much of it from 60-80 MPH.  Average ground speed of 50 MPH.

-Peak altitude of 87,320 reached right at the border of Illinois and Missouri.

-The three cameras on board (a Flip pointed up, our GoPro facing down, and then Canon out the side) each recorded between 2 hours (Flips) and 3.5 (GoPro) hours of data.  That’s 87 GIGABYTES of pictures and video.  The Canon DSLR camera recorded approximately 9,000 still images.  Due to the length of the flight, none of the cameras’ batteries lasted long enough to capture apogee but we got most of the flight.

-Two onboard data loggers captured altitude, motion, light, and temperature information during the entire flight.  That’s real scientific data collected that will be able to help researchers across the country.

Some images:

Balloon Away!

The balloon shortly after launch.


The tree that captured our payload in Illinois.

A tired Bob Riddle with our retrieved payload and parachute.

Map of Today’s Flight

This map says it all:

Flight Map

Map of the Ascent Flight on November 9th

With today’s flight we literally crossed the entire state of Missouri, launching from just over the western border in Kansas to landing approximately 15 miles east of the border with Illinois.  If the pictures turn out, we should have an aerial “roadtrip” view crossing the entire state from Kansas City to St. Louis.


After 4 hours of driving and 300 miles on the road, Fred and Bob found and successfully retrieved the payload capsule!  It was hanging approximately 20 feet in the air, suspended in a tree.  A short tree climb and a few cuts of the line easily freed the capsule.  No damage was suffered to any of the equipment in flight!  We are all elated to have our cameras back and are looking forward to seeing the photos from this 4.5 hour flight.  A very tired Bob and Fred are now making the 4 hour drive back to Kansas City.  Heck of a road trip!


The balloon is down! It landed at approximately 5:58 CST time. It landed about 75 miles north-northwest of St. Louis within 15 miles of Jacksonville, Illinois. That’s a LONG trip! We hope to have some spectacular cross-country pictures soon!

Still Going!

It’s currently 4:05 PM in Kansas City and the balloon has been flying about 3.5 hours!  The winds are really carrying it and, if we get lucky, should give us an interesting flight view to… St. Louis!  For the first few hours of flight the balloon was averaging a groundspeed of 60-80 MPH.  The same winds blowing the balloon along were preventing it from climbing very fast.  As of the writing of this post, the balloon is about 82,000 feet up and about 100 miles northwest of downtown St. Louis and on it’s way toward Springfield, Illinois.

Right now, Fred Bruenjes and Bob Riddle are in a car with a GPS tracker chasing after the balloon.  We hope it lands before it hits the east coast!

Launch! The Ascent Balloon is Flying!

See the link:

To follow the balloon’s flight in real-time!


August 2017
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