A romantic Air Force pilot launched an engagement ring more than 90,000ft into the atmosphere to propose to his girlfriend in astonishing footage.
Stuart Shippee, from Missouri, and his partner Marie Lisman had planned to send a 13th Bomb Squadron challenge coin soaring through the sky attached to a weather balloon with some friends.
But moments before the balloon took flight, Mr Shippee replaced the medallion with an imitation engagement ring he hoped his now-fiancée would find on the balloon’s return to the ground.
Mr Shippee, a B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber pilot from the 393rd Bomb Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base, said he had to rely on both his air engineering degree and pilot training to pull off the impressive stunt.
Stuart Shippee, from Missouri, launches an imitation engagement ring more than 90,000ft into the atmosphere to propose to his girlfriend Marie Lisman
He had launched coins into the air on a few previous occasions until he felt confident enough to attempt the proposal – but he only had one shot to get it right as Ms Lisman was just in town for the weekend.
He told the Whiteman Air Force Base: ‘It was on my mind for a while so I wasn’t sure if I would be gutsy enough to do it. Eventually, I went for it.
‘If anything went wrong, the whole thing would fail.’
Mr Shippee told Ms Lisman he would attach a coin to the weather balloon with a video camera placed to record its journey through the atmosphere.
The pair and some friends wait for the weather balloon to take flight – with Ms Lisman unaware a military challenge coin she thought was attached to had been swapped for a ring
The balloon soars into the sky from the Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri with green fields seen disappearing into the distance below
In footage from the flight, the pilot is seen quickly swapping the coin for a imitation ring – rather than the real thing – when his girlfriend isn’t watching.
The balloon then begins to soar through the sky with Ms Lisman seen standing just behind a shot of the ring as the group disappear into the distance.
It continues to climb higher, and make its way through the atmosphere, until the ring is seen spinning above a layer of clouds with beautiful blue skies in the distance.
Not long after, it soars more than 90,000ft high – with deep space seen hovering above the curvature of the Earth in the astonishing footage.
It soon climbs to 90,000ft above the ground with deep space seen hovering above the curvature of the Earth
The ring falls to the ground in a cornfield which Mr Shippee and Ms Lisman find thanks to GPS attached to the balloon payload
As Ms Lisman excitedly locates the payload, her boyfriend appears behind her with the real engagement ring in hand
The weather balloon then spins wildly before it bursts and the ring plummets back to the ground – where an excited Ms Lisman finds it in a cornfield thanks to GPS attached to the box.
As she views the fallen balloon, her boyfriend takes to one knee behind her with the real engagement ring and she eventually spots the placeholder attached to the payload.
Mr Shippee is then seen celebrating the success of his proposal, which took place last August, in the clip which recently emerged online.
‘When I first picked up the balloon payload I did not see the imitation ring until I looked down and Stuart was on his knee,’ said Ms Lisman. ‘I was speechless! After the long day and difficult search for the payload I was very happy to have the ending be so special.’