This week on the National Geographic Channel, the answer to that eternal question (providing “eternal” means “since 2009 when the movie came out”): Can we really build a house like the one from Pixar’s Up, able to float by balloon power alone? On an episode of “How Hard Can It Be?” that aired this week, a team of builders (including frequent PopSci contributor Vin Marshall) actually built a house capable of being lifted–with people aboard–by balloons.
The team found that it is essentially impossible to lift an ordinary house with balloons (do your research, Pixar!), but that a small, extremely lightweight house can in fact be lifted with a world-record-breaking cluster of high-capacity weather balloons, around 300 in number. That house floated some 10,000 feet above California’s high desert back in March, with two inhabitants inside. Check out video below:
That’s only one of three “How Hard Can It Be?” episodes airing this week. This Wednesday at 8PM, there’s a new episode that finds Vin and the team building a DIY, remote-controlled submersible that can dive to depths of 12,000 feet. Check it out on the National Geographic Channel.