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.
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.
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.
Louis Cox, from Sent into Space, who led the project said:
“It’s always really rewarding to see the children’s reaction.