Friday, December 5

Teddies and telephones in space

It is a "proud dad" moment. teddies5_sm

My daughter has been working on a science project to send 4 teddy bears into space.

They launched successfully a few days ago, and this morning almost every newspaper in the UK today is reporting on it (with all the predictable puns):

  • Teddies Boldly Go Where No Bear Has Gone Before
  • A giant leap for bear-kind (sun)
  • Space bears are teddy for lift-off (metro)
  • Giant step for teddies as Britain rejoins space race (times)
  • British teddy bears are out of this world
  • Ground control to major Ted (guardian)

She and her friends are justifiably glowing with pride - her bear, called MAT, is pictured on the left

The teddies went up with a helium balloon, got to an altitude of over 30 km, (temperature below -50 C) and landed safely on the coast after 2 hours of flight.

They travelled in style, connected to Nova 9 (the "mothership") built by CUSpaceflight - a group of Cambridge University students inspired by low-budget space flight. Spaceship2

On board was a few cameras, a super lightweight computer and GPS chip to track it, a radio to report back to the team on the ground ... and ... in case of emergencies ... a mobile phone!

Any teenager could tell you that in case of emergencies, you need to be able to send a text message to someone to pick you up. Nova 9 was no different.

The project was part of an outreach by CUSPaceflight, and the kids - science clubs from two local schools - were experimenting with different insulation and protective layers and clothing for their bears, to keep them from freezing solid.

Find out more by Googling Teddies in space or pick a couple of these links: flight

Local TV news

Press releases

Photos and more

9 comments:

Juan Delgado said...

How cool is that?!?!?!? Awesome! Congrats to Aiyana and the rest of the crew.

Man, how lame look now my science experiments :S

Karen said...

Really really cool proud dad :)
Say congratulations to Aiyana for me!

Gilson Zanata said...

This is just unbelievable!! :-)

Congratulations to her and probably the proudest dad in the Universe :-)

Sarah said...

Fantastic - to think I only got as far as the Blue Peter Teddy Spacebear outfit and then ran out of tin foil (circa 1970). Well done Aiyana!!

sienne said...

Does MAT the teddy have a PR agent? Perhaps he ought to give some interviews on You Tube? What is his career path from here on - from cuddle toy to astronaut is one giant leap for an ursine softie, so I am sure he has loads to think about. I look forward to the further adventures of MAT the spacebear.

andy black said...

Mat is about to mentioned to an international conference in Berlin.

fili said...

That is just sooooo kool! Pass my congratultions to Aiyana.

pd I'm sure Cai is thinking how to beat that!

geoff said...

thanks all ... yes, Cai is trying to plan an even more spectacular stunt!

bklynmom said...

googling my brother and this is what I find? I blog I know nothing about! FINALLY I see Aiynana's teddy in space - awesome! kx

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