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.
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: