Real-Life 'UP' House Soars High In California's Mojave Desert


CCSS 277 Words 2-Minute Listen

Carl Frederickson's house flight powered by helium balloons in Pixar's Up, has inspired many people. First the balloons were used to pull a tugboat under the London Bridge then, they helped lift Jonathan Trappe across the English Channel. However, none of the adventures were even close to those experienced by Carl and Russell, until recently, when a team from National Geographic got involved.

Inspired by the movie, the creative folks at National Geographic's new show 'How Hard Can It Be?' decided to test if a house could really be airborne with just helium balloons. Right off the bat they knew that it would never work with a normal house.

Therefore the team, which comprised scientists, engineers and dozens of volunteers, began by constructing a special lightweight house, that could not only fly, but also, be strong enough to carry two people, whilst airborne.

Once the abode that measured 4.8mx4.8mx5.5m, was ready, they filled 300 balloons with a tank of helium each, attached them to eight-foot long strings and tethered the bunch to the lightweight house and stood with abated breath - Sure enough, slowly but gradually, it went . . Up Up and Away! Steered by two balloon pilots, the helium-powered house flew across California's Mojave Desert, for an entire hour!

Besides taking credit for the first successful 'house flight', the team also set a new record for the largest cluster balloon flight ever attempted. The video below depicts a small portion of this historic flight, but to learn how the scientists and engineers pulled off this amazing stunt, you will have to watch the show when it airs on the National Geographic channel, this fall.


Cite Article
  • magickoopa
    magickoopaThursday, May 31, 2018 at 10:18 am
    Cool but how do they get down?😕
    • bean_boy
      bean_boyMonday, April 2, 2018 at 12:13 pm
      Dang! That's sweet
      • The crazy judgeWednesday, January 31, 2018 at 4:46 pm
        Dat is da craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. That’s the best thing I have ever heard of. Hopefully no one flies in dat house😀
        • gk3000
          gk3000Friday, January 19, 2018 at 7:28 am
          i don't even know what to say
          • Lil PumpWednesday, December 6, 2017 at 7:08 am
            • jordanTuesday, December 5, 2017 at 10:56 am
              thats amazing
              • Derpy_CAKERTuesday, November 28, 2017 at 4:51 pm
                EPIC OML DA BEST ARTICLE EVER I wonder if I could fly away with a balloon?
                • nicklousd
                  nicklousdTuesday, November 28, 2017 at 8:54 am
                  oh my gosh its totally awesome
                  • stranger97
                    stranger97Monday, November 13, 2017 at 8:57 am
                    • Alex and tylerSunday, November 12, 2017 at 12:49 pm
                      one word. epicly awesome