The Launch Site
50 years ago mankind took one giant leap into the unknown...
Today, one School will do the same.
In celebration of this monumental event, Sacred Heart School Ilkley will launch a balloon to the edges of outer space. All the children have put their fingerprints on the capsule, together with a School photo. Join us as we take flight and go further than any school has ever gone before...
Our tribute to one of mankind's greatest achievements is to get into space ourselves and video our progress. We'll achieve this with the aid of a lighter than air helium balloon, which will carry its payload of camera, GPS, tracker, insulation and parachute through the atmosphere and to the fringes of space.
From this high we should be able to see the curvature of the earth and the blackness of outer space - just like the Astronauts: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin saw as they left the earth on their epic journey to the Moon. It reminds us of what an amazing and delicate planet we live on and why we have to protect our home for future generations.
22nd July 2021
On the fields behind Sacred Heart School.
What happens next?
As the balloon and its precious cargo takes off from the fields it will ascend 20 miles through the atmosphere, swelling to almost 10 times its original size due to the low air pressure. At some point the balloon will expand beyond its limits at the fringes of space. It'll burst! And the parachute will deploy, carrying the video camera and insulation back to earth.
What goes up... Should come down! But where? We have been running simulation software to track the descent. This uses similar programs that Airline pilots use to plot the wind strength and direction at different altitudes. It gives us a good guess at where the Spacecraft will land. As it approaches the ground, the GPS and tracker should start working. This will give us an accurate fix on where we will find it.
We'll post the exact landing site here:
Sacred Heart Catholic Primary, A Voluntary Academy, Valley Drive, Ilkley, West Yorkshire LS29 8NL