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Children blast balloon into space!

Children blast balloon into space! Credit: BPM

It was to infinity and beyond for Birmingham schoolchildren who enjoyed launching their own balloon into space as part of a science lesson.

The Year 5 class at Robin Hood Academy were over the moon when the helium-balloon propelled craft reached the outskirts of Earth, some 20 miles above their Hall Green classroom.

On-board footage showed the launch from the school playground and revealed Birmingham’s skyline and images as it orbits the edge of the planet’s atmosphere.

Children blast balloon into space! Credit: BPM

Helped by the team from Sent into Space, the children launched the shuttle at 5.45am on Monday after winning special permission from the Civil Aviation Authority, so as not to interfere with any passing planes.

The pupils tracked the balloon on its three-hour journey with a GPS device before the balloon eventually popped and the spacecraft gently parachuted to Earth, landing 50 miles away near Oxford.

Year 5 teacher Kate Starling said:

“The atmosphere on the morning was buzzing.

“We had around 100 people, including children from all year groups and their families. Some of them were still in their pyjamas as it was so early!

“We were really lucky - it was the perfect day.

“The children are really inspired and excited. It has been a really memorable event for them.”

– Kate Starling
Children blast balloon into space! Credit: BPM

Pupils had designed the unique balloon as part of their ‘Stargazing’ project, then created the model using a 3D printer.

The finished balloon was then attached to a polystyrene box which housed pictures of all of the children - or ‘classtronauts’ - so each pupil could claim they have had made the journey to space.

The Sent into Space team then retrieved the balloon from its landing spot in a field near Burford, and the children were able to watch the footage.

Children blast balloon into space! Credit: BPM

Louis Cox, from Sent into Space, who led the project said:

“It’s always really rewarding to see the children’s reaction.

“It puts science into an interesting context, and can really encourage them to pursue science, maths and engineering which can traditionally be thought of as difficult subjects.

“Our overall aim is to inspire kids with science, and for them to have a day like this that they will remember for years is really exciting.”

– Louis Cox
Children blast balloon into space! Credit: BPM