New albums “drop” every week, but only one dropped literally—from the edge of space. See the artist that got a bit creative with a helium balloon.
You’ve already met Mike Posner
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Mike Posner came up with the idea to send his new album, At Night, Alone up to the edge of space in a promotional collaboration with GoPro.
While you may or may not know Posner by name, you already know his work. Aside from his own global hits, he’s responsible for writing mega hits like Maroon 5’s Sugar and Bieber’s Boyfriend. He’s written for Snoop Dog, Nick Jonas, Pharrell, Wiz Khalifa, Nelly, Avicii, and many more.
For his own album, Posner wanted to take the May 6 release to new heights. Heights of 105,000 feet, specifically.
Dropping an album from the edge of space
Posner rigged up a contraption that would carry his album to the stratosphere, lifted of course by a large helium balloon. The album hit a top ascension speed of 155 mph and peaked at 105,000 feet.
So, what happened at 105,000 feet?
What goes up…
A helium balloon can reach the edge of space, but it can’t actually leave our atmosphere and escape into space itself. Here’s why…
As the helium balloon rises miles into the air, two things happen: 1. The density of the atmosphere decreases, and 2. The temperature drops.
Since the air pressure decreases around the balloon the higher it goes, the pressure inside the helium balloon, which remains unchanged, begins to push outward, expanding the balloon material until it bursts.
The balloon also pops differently near the edge of space than it does down here. Because of the freezing temperatures, the balloon skin actually freezes, so when it pops it actually shatters into very small bits, like smashing a mirror. (You can actually see the frozen condensation on the album cover in the photo at the top of this article.)
So when Posner’s balloon hit 105,000 feet, it popped, and that was the exact moment that his album dropped.
Another helium album release
Musician Jack White did something similar recently, but he wasn’t aiming for the edge of space. Rather, his intention was to offer fans an exclusive single that was released ONLY via helium balloon.
White’s team tied a limited number of discs containing the song to latex helium balloons and set them to the skies. Anyone lucky enough to find one of the biodegradable balloons got to keep the rare copy of the song, Freedom at 21.
If you want to watch the video of White’s song release and learn more about it – it’s #4 on this list.