8 July 2013 16:44

Sixth form students have taken part an experiment to launch a helium-filled high-altitude weather balloon fitted with scientific measuring instruments helped by Lancaster University physicists.

The balloon rose to 31,685m altitude in two hours and then descended by parachute in about half an hour. It was launched by Ben Bancroft, Jake Greenwood, and Samuel Bancroft from William Howard School in Brampton, Cumbria.

Measurements of ultra violet flux, cosmic background radiation, the temperature and pressure were made, as well as GPS data and photographs of the Earth below.

It took two days and a drone helicopter to locate the measurement instruments  but  the students were  rewarded with video clips of the Earth’s curvature from the edge of space, the balloon bursting and payload landing. 

The project was supported by a Royal Society Schools Partnership grant in collaboration with Phil Furneaux and Professor Mike Kosch from the Deparment of Physics.