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Cambridge University Spaceflight - Teddy Bears reach Near Space

Published by Rob on Thu Dec 4, 2008 5:58 pm
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Four teddy bears voyaged to the edge of space on Monday December 1st as an experiment run by Cambridge University Spaceflight, with the SPARKS science club at Parkside Community College and Coleridge Community College. The bears were lifted to 30,085 metres above sea level on a latex high altitude balloon filled with helium. The aim of the experiment was to determine which materials provided the best insulation against the -53 ° C temperatures experienced during the journey. Each of the bears wore a different space suit designed by the 11-13 year olds from SPARKS.

The payload which carried the bears was designed by Cambridge University Spaceflight and contained several cameras, a flight computer, GPS and a radio. During the 2 hour and 9 minute flight, the radio broadcasted the location of the payload to a chase team on the ground. The team predicted the landing site using wind speed data and arrived in time to see the payload and teddy bears drift slowly back down to earth by parachute. The teddies landed in a field 4 miles north east of Ipswich.

“We want to offer young people the opportunity to get involved in the space industry whilst still at school and show that real-life science is something that is open to everybody” says Iain Waugh, CU Spaceflight’s chief aeronautical engineer. “High altitude balloon flights are a fantastic way of encouraging interest in science. They are easy to understand, and produce amazing results.” remarks Daniel Strange, treasurer of CU Spaceflight. About Cambridge University Spaceflight

Cambridge University Spaceflight is a student-run society aiming to reduce the cost of sub-orbital spaceflight. They have launched several payloads to near space on high-altitude helium balloons and are currently designing a system to launch a rocket from a balloon platform to outer space for under £1000 per launch. They have run several outreach events and are currently holding the UK Space Challenge 2009, as part of the University of Cambridge’s 800th Anniversary. Twenty four teams of science students aged 14-18 are competing to design a scientific experiment that will be taken to near space on a high-altitude helium balloon.


More at http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~cuspaceflight/media.php

CU Spaceflight’s outreach program is supported by Rolls-Royce plc.
For more details contact Daniel Strange on 07783 033 257 or email cuspaceflight@cusu.cam.ac.uk. More photos can be seen at www.cuspaceflight.co.uk

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