Chichester College pupils reach the edge of space

Pictures from balloon sent into the stratosphere from Chichester College
Pictures from balloon sent into the stratosphere from Chichester College
  • Weather balloon reaches height of 30,000 metres
  • Students followed progress at ‘mission control’
  • Special parachute brought cameras safely back to earth

THIS stunning picture is one of a number of photographs taken from the edge of space by intrepid college staff and students.

Working together a number of departments launched a high-altitude weather balloon into the air after receiving permission from the Civil Aviation Authority.

Armed with three cameras, a black box and seeds, the Chichester College STEM team, from the science, technology, engineering and maths departments, launched the high-tech balloon amid a watching crowd on Wednesday last week. Followed by an excited and expectant team from ‘mission control’ in the college canteen, the balloon travelled for several hours across a large swathe of central southern England.

Flying at more than 30,000 metres, twice the height of conventional commercial aircraft, it flew over the New Forest and was picked up by a jet stream high in the stratosphere before bursting at approximately the moment it was predicted to do so.

A special parachute ensured it safely descended back to earth.

Andrew Chater, head of engineering, said: “With all equipment intact and with the data already looking impressive I think we can safely say that we have had a 100 per cent success rate for the mission. “One of the best aspects of the event is that all departments within the STEM team have worked together, co-operated and talked.”

It was part of a much wider Global Balloon Challenge, which includes prizes for highest altitude, best images, best videos and best team.