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

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.