Andrew Smith, a self-taught sculptor, machinist, welder and robot-artist from American Fork, Utah, is about to launch a balloon to space to capture photos of the solar eclipse.

Commissioned by Glenn to build two robots for the “Man in the Moon” production in 2013, Smith’s unique talent for creative craftsmanship is unparalleled. He specializes in doing things most people would never dream of.

“It’s just really fun to do, and odd projects make life interesting,” he said, when he first informed us of his idea to launch a balloon up to space.

If everything goes according to plan, he should come back with some pretty incredible shots.

“I am going to focus my energy on trying to not fail at getting some amazing footage,” Smith said. “I did a few test launches this week — it was a pretty rough ride.”

Below are a few photos taken at around 115,000 feet in altitude, before the balloon he was using burst and dropped its payload.


This isn’t the first time Smith has been involved in a space balloon watch. In 2013, Smith helped his friend launch a balloon to space to celebrate his son’s act of heroism, donating bone marrow to save the life of his older sister. The view was captured on four GoPro cameras and they used a GPS Spot to recover the capsule after it fell back down to earth.

“Once I hopefully recover the camera and the footage I am going to start putting stuff together,” Smith said. “Crossing my fingers all goes well.”

We’re crossing our fingers, too!

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes throwback of Smith and the team working on the robots for “Man in the Moon.” Enjoy!

Andrew Smith