Mission Dorothy 360

is a virtual reality tale, which takes one on an immersive flight of the earth’s stratosphere lasting twenty minutes.

 

Ascending over 30 000 meters above our planet, the virtual-passenger will be guided through the experience by the voice of an Artificial Intelligence named « Dorothy ».

 

This movie is designed as a playful science experiment, and a philosophical contemplation on the human condition, the role humans will play in the future of the planet, and beyond.

 

The footage will be captured by a camera embedded on balloon-probe during a trip to the Earth's stratosphere.

 

As Marcel Duchamp said,

“The viewer creates the artwork, as much as the artist does”.

Thusly, the spectator is transported through virtual reality, and becomes a “passenger” voyaging to our stratosphere.  From this new perspective, the viewer is intrinsically entangled within the artwork; even more so, when interacting with the immersive Virtual Reality content.

How to send Dorothy into the stratosphere ?

Dorothy is an ultra light capsule (between 1kg and 2kg) with a 360 camera, a GPS and a black box.

The capsule will be fixed to a 2-meter large latex balloon filled with hydrogen. This type of probe-balloon is usually used to collect data in the stratosphere by meteorological and astronautic specialists.  In our case, the capsule would reach more than 30 000 meters (the stratosphere) and record 360 footage of our planet, and the near space. At that height we are able to see the curvature of the earth and the deep black nature of Space. To compare, a commercial flight cruises at an average 10 000 meters.

 

The black box`s purpose is to collect several types of data, including temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity levels, acceleration, and altitude. This data will be used by Dorothy to punctuate her tale with scientific facts, interesting comparisons with the environment, and the heights where the passenger evolves. Finally, the GPS will allow us to track the exact position of the capsule, during the 2-3 hour flight, and recover the precious footage after the landing.  

 

The technical challenges will be to design an effective stabilization-rig for the capsule and protect the camera from the extreme high altitude cold, which can drop down to as low as -60°C.  The pieces that need to be light and built with precision will be designed on computer and outputted on a 3D printer.

Partnership

I've financed this project alone for over a year, but a few months ago the Californian company VRenetic founded by director and producer Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, Stargate, Godzilla ...) discovered the project and offered to help during the production.

 

Furthermore, the Chinese company Shenzhen Arashi Vision, which manufactures the camera (INSTA 360 ONE X) is studying with VRenetic the technical aspects of the project to eventually make a custom camera to support a stratospheric flight.

Finally, the company 360 Bubble has decided to join us in this crazy adventure. This company build very good quality globe housing for 360 cameras.

This project is currently looking for additional partners who would like to collaborate in terms of production, post-production, distribution and networking.

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Dorothy's flight # 01

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Date : 2019 October 5
Location : Québec (Canada)

 

Temperature minimum : -49°C
Burst altitude : 32.661 meters

 

Vitesse maximum : 194 km/h
Flight duration : 2 h 19 min

 

Vitesse maximum : 152 km/h
Flight duration : 2 h 04 min

 

Temperature minimum : -44°C
Burst altitude : 22.197 meters

 

Dorothy's flight # 02

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Date : 2019 October 13
Location : Québec (Canada)

 

Dorothy's flight # 03

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Date : 2019 December 1
Location : Québec (Canada)

 

Temperature minimum : -47°C
Burst altitude : 33.019 meters

 

Vitesse maximum : 194 km/h
Flight duration : 2 h 03 min

 

Click on the picture to see a 360 image of the balloon burst and the sunrise at 33km above sea level.