To the Edge of SPACE!!!!

These are the pictures from a student project in our Experimental Space Systems class (a second semester junior level class for students in the aerospace engineering astro track).  Our class was divided into groups and each group was assigned to make a student payload.  One of the requirements of our team’s payload was to take pictures during flight.  All of these payloads were attached to a weather balloon by a tether and launched from the lower fields on campus last Thursday at 9 in the morning.

The Balloon ascended through layers of the atmosphere until it reached just over 93,000 ft, which (if I’m not being a total blonde) is about 17.6 miles high, before it burst and began to fall again (with a parachute of course).

Our payloads landed in rough wilderness about 30 miles away from campus on the side of a mountain and it took a team of brave students about 7 hours of hiking to retrieve it.

Here are what I consider to be the best pictures from our balloon Launch.  They start with pictures from before the balloon reached the cloud level then go between we were between cloud levels, and the final pictures are taken basically on the edge of space (well kinda, but not really).

Notice the time stamp in the corner.  By that you can judge how fast the balloon is rising.  We think the camera stopped working between 50,000 and 60,000 feet (probably because the camera was too cold despite our heater), but the pictures at that point are still amazing.


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