Saturday, December 06, 2008

British Teddy Bears reach the edge of space.

From the Mail Online in the UK comes this headline "Out of this world: British teddy bears strapped to helium weather balloon reach the edge of space" about how four teddy bears were attached to a high altitude balloon and sent aloft.

The brave bears were fitted with custom space suits designed by local school children, and their temperatures were monitored both inside and outside the suits. The Teddies rose to an altitude of approximately 100,000 feet, and endured temperatures as low as - 53C during their 2 hour mission. Once the mission was over the Teddies safely touched down near the Ipswich just 50 miles from Churchill College in Cambridge which is where they originally took off.

Here is a quote from the article: "the mission, led by aerodynamics student Henry Hallam, 21, had a more serious purpose than giving the teddies the ride of their lives. The aim of the experiment was to monitor weather conditions in the stratosphere and determine which materials provide the best insulation against the freezing temperatures experienced on the flight. Mr Hallam said: 'We asked the children to build the space suits for the teddy bears and we monitored the temperatures inside and outside the suits. It was great to involve these young people so they can learn about physics in a different and exciting way.."

The article is a fun read, so take a look and enjoy the great pictures. I wonder how Col. Joe "Red" Kittinger, USAF - Ret. ( wikipedia article, fact sheet ) feels about four Teddies challenging his record.

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