Illinois high school students launch weather balloon to edge of space

CARROLLTON, Ill. (KSDK) - A team of engineering students at Carrollton High School successfully launched and recovered the school's first-ever weather balloon to the edge of space.

A four-student team created the "Carrollton Aerospace Agency" (CASA) with the intent to launch, recover, and collect data from near space. An earlier launch attempt on April 15 failed, but the students learned from their error and rescheduled.

The mission began May 5 at 7:40 a.m. Students Travis Alexander, Colton Miller, Riley Lewis, and Jacob Lovel used a large helium balloon to lift a video recorder and temperature gauge into the sky. The balloon reached a staggering altitude of approximately 95,000 feet (nearly 20 miles) before descending and landing some 15 miles southeast of Hillsboro.

The "edge of space" is an expression used to describe the area below the Karman line, which represents the boundary between our atmosphere and outer space. The Karman line is located at 62 miles above sea level, according to the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, which maintains the international standard for aeronautics and astronautics.


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