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Have you seen my giant space balloon?

Pete Gibbs filling the balloon Credit: Jerry Sandys

Three amateur scientists are asking for their giant balloon back after it blew off course, while taking photos of Kent from near space.

Jerry Sandys, Pete Gibbs and Andrew Ashe fly meteorological balloons to take pictures of the UK.

But yesterday they "got their sums a little wrong", and the balloons payload - a small white polystyrene box - landed in the sea two miles off Dungeness Point, just after 9am.

One of the trio's photos from space Credit: Jerry Sandys

Having spent three hours searching in a fishing boat, they were unable to find the box, and are now hoping someone discovered it attached to a pink parachute, washed up on the beach.

The flight was "otherwise a success" they said, covering over 160km and reaching an altitudeof 26km.

The balloon even sent the them a text message just as it came down, so they knew exactly where it landed.

If anyone has seen it, they are asked to call Andrew Ashe 07976 740233 or to emailandrew@eurotalk.com. A reward of a signed photo from space is being offered to the finder.

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Consultation into nuclear plant

The official consultation on plans to build a nuclear research and disposal plant in Kent has begun.

Shepway District Council is considering whether to build the plant at Romney Marsh.

The authority says it could create jobs lost with the decommissioning of two power plants at Dungeness over the next 10 years. Campaigners say they will do everything in their power to stop it.

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