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Local company promotes space exploration for kids

Published On: Feb 12 2013 04:09:06 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 12 2013 06:31:31 PM CST

High Altitude Science, based in Colorado Springs, is providing the equipment necessary for students to launch their own weather balloon and collect data from the troposphere and stratosphere.

The video of a rocket holding a Hello Kitty doll, getting launched into space has gone viral.

Lauren Rojas and her parents embarked on the mission of launching something into space in an effort to learn more about the effects of altitude on temperature and pressure.

With the help of High Altitude Science, located in Colorado Springs, the mission was a success.  You can view the footage by clicking here.

High Altitude Science provides everything from weather balloons to flight computers to GPS tracking systems.

Joseph Maydell, developer of the company, said his goal is to put this technology in the hands of kids across the country.

“It’s one thing to read it in a textbook, but when you actually send something into space yourself and actually look at the data and learn it yourself hands-on, it’s just such a unique experience,” said Maydell.

Maydell, a former NASA flight mission controller, said the flight into near-space takes between one and two hours.  It is at this point that the balloon expands to about 50 feet in diameter, pops and takes a 45-minute flight back to Earth.  A parachute is attached to the contraption to help it float safely back to the ground.  Maydell said the spacecrafts will usually land within 100 miles of the launch site.

Cameras are used to gather imagery during the entire duration of the trip.

“You just see that really beautiful curvature of our planet and you see that blue thin layer of our atmosphere.  You just realize we really live on a really beautiful planet.  A really fragile planet and there’s just so much about it that we really don’t know,” said Maydell.

To learn more about High Altitude Science, click here.

“I just want schools all over the country to be really excited about putting this kind of technology in the hands of children and just really helping our kids to just get more passionate about space exploration and science, engineering and math,” said Maydell.

As for the Hello Kitty shuttle, Rojas said the data and shuttle are being presented at her school’s science fair.

Local company promotes space exploration for kids

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