High Schoolers To Launch Scientific Balloons To Near Outer Space
On Thursday, July 18, 2013, high school students and their University of New Hampshire Project SMART mentors will launch twin weather balloons that carry miniaturized scientific payloads designed to measure cosmic rays and environmental parameters such as air pressure and temperature. The flight will also serve as a test platform for a NASA-funded instrument built at the UNH Space Science Center to measure gamma rays.
The weather-dependent launch is slated for noon, give or take an hour, from the grounds of the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish. Given favorable winds at high altitude, the instrument payloads will ride up to 100,000 feet – the edge of outer space – in unique, three-foot, dish-shaped, Styrofoam and cardboard re-entry vehicles built by the students and designed to float safely down to Earth without aid of a parachute.