On May 2, 2014, the Ford Mustang reached new heights. The Mustang has been inspiring drivers to expand the limits of their own experiences for over 50 years, and now it has done that and more.
San Francisco-area Ford zone sales manager Michael Sego, along with Steve Kubitz, managing partner of Big Valley Ford in Stockton, CA, and some friends got together to be the first to launch a Mustang into space.
We wanted to celebrate 50 years of Mustang and the impending arrival of the all-new 2015 Mustang by doing something really special. Mustang has always been about getting behind the wheel and hitting the open road, but we decided to take to the open sky. – Michael Sego
The team knew launching a Mustang into space was not practical, so they took inspiration from Austrian skydiver, Felix Baumgartner. In October 2012, Baumgartner used a custom helium-filled balloon to ride a capsule up to nearly 128,000 feet above the earth before diving back to earth. This gave the guys the idea they needed to launch the Mustang.
Sego and Kubitz were able to secure a high-altitude weather balloon, added a rod to the side instrumentation box suspended below it, and then mounted a Revell Mustang model kits to the rod. Of course, they also included a pair of small action cameras to record the journey.
About 74 minutes after the balloon was released, it reached a maximum height of 110,000 feet (nearly 21 miles). The car and the instrumentation box came back down and landed in a field where it was retrieved about six hours after launch based on its GPS location transmitter.
More than 9 million Mustangs have been built in the past 50 years, going to virtually every part of the planet. We’re excited to have been able to take our favorite car to new heights by launching it into space. -Michael Sego