Teen Gets Into MIT, Launches Acceptance Letter Into Space

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Teen Gets Into MIT, Launches Acceptance Letter Into Space

What do you do when you get into MIT at the age of 17? You shoot your acceptance letter up to the edge of space, with a camera attached to film the whole thing.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology educates some pretty smart cookies. 17-year-old Erin King's managed to earn this particular honor, and was an early admission student to boot. Now, the young woman's posted a video of how she launched the tube carrying her acceptance letter up into the stratosphere.

You see, MIT sends out its early acceptance letters in cardboard tubes. Students are encouraged to "hack" these tubes in any creative way possible. Some of these hacks are pretty impressive, ranging from turning the tube into a flamethrower to dressing it up like R2-D2. However, King's project clearly takes the cake, as noted by a tipster who contacted BoingBoing:

"My name is Chris Peterson. I run web communications for MIT Admissions and have been a loyal BB reader for years. For the last several years we have been sending our admitted students their acceptance letters in cardboard tubes. First because we sent a poster, but now it's its own thing. 2012 is the anniversary of an old MIT balloon hack, so we put a letter in all of the Early Action admit tubes telling them we wanted them to hack the tubes somehow, and set up http://hackthetubes.mitadmissions.org to collect responses. Lots of them are great, but this one, from Erin King (MIT '16) in Georgia, is the best."

Erin King's YouTube page actually details all the steps and tools she used for the launch, as well as how far and how high it traveled.

Now, if you need me, I'll just be sitting in the corner feeling like a dumb old man.

Source: YouTube via BoingBoing

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vansau:

Now, if you need me, I'll just be sitting in the corner feeling like a dumb old man.

The same MIT that put Steve Jobs as the 2nd greatest innovator of all time? Don't sit there too long. ;)

I do hope Zarg understands though. He was quite impressed with getting a MIT admission. Even if it was addressed wrong.

Man Lab? I thought Top Gear at first, then realised it had nothing to do with cars. Damn you James May, confusing me by appearing in more than one TV programme.

Still, farking impressive no doubt. Always pick the engineer for your team. Always!

Stellar performance by Erin King. Very impressive.

I for one look forward to the future generation of super geniuses who will save our planet from aliens.

I expect great things from you Erin. I suppose I will hear about you in the future.

Impressed Toombs is impressed.

Wow, that was just brilliant. Very nice video.

vansau:
-snip-

Is she really 16? I followed the links here and saw no mention of her age, just that she's in the class of 2016.

Edit: Gah Double post. FML

Next look to some reactionary conservative MP declaring war on Space for encouraging 'hackers'.

My daddy never helped me send things into space... :(

Also I'm too stupid.

Agayek:

vansau:
-snip-

Is she really 16? I followed the links here and saw no mention of her age, just that she's in the class of 2016.

The first article I saw said she was, but you're right, there's no confirmation. I took it out just to be safe.

Yep, this confirms how stupid I am. Man, I hate this feeling.

frig, I'm sorry, but every person I've ever seen that goes to MIT are just not very attractive people.

Which is weird, because I know an uncanny number of attractive "dorks" "nerds" "geeks" and people generally thought of as "smart" - certainly smart enough to go to MIT.

But everyone who seems to show up there aren't attractive.

#stereotypesFTW

First Lego, now metal tubes with paper in them. They'll be sending people up there next...

Acrisius:
My daddy never helped me send things into space... :(

Also I'm too stupid.

That sentence worked very well with your avatar

Only MIT? You can do so much better.

The Bucket:

Acrisius:
My daddy never helped me send things into space... :(

Also I'm too stupid.

That sentence worked very well with your avatar

This avatar continues to serve me well...

To think that one girl has got an object further than the entire North Korean and possibly Iranian military :p

O/T wish I had the concentration to do this, however I would just get bored and end up inhaling the helium to put on funny voices :(

I to am too stupid :/

vansau:
a video of how she she launched the tube carrying

Now, if you need me, I'll just be sitting in the corner feeling like a dumb old man.

As well you should :P

Pretty neat way to show MIT what their getting too.

I can't get around that they call that "hacking" the tube. WTF? Either the tube is a computer, or else they want it chopped into pieces. Not sure how sending it to space or turning it into a flamethrower counts.

Anyway, not sure what the big deal is with MIT anyway. Once you're out of school people don't give much care to your credentials as long as enough boxes are checked (education wise). After that you gotta nail the interview, and you're as likely to get hired with a tech diploma as a degree in many cases.

Sorry, but that isn't near space (not by a long shot). Since this is using a balloon, this is only going to travel to the ceiling of the Statosphere. That is about 1/10th the way. You still have to go through the Mesosphere (~120km, still below the minimum altitude for orbital craft), then the Thermosphere (ceiling ~600km), then you hit the exosphere, the last remenents of our atmosphere. Though it is arguable that between the lower and upper boundary that "Space" begins (between 500km-190,000km). Low orbit is considered 2,000km.

I'd find it hilarious if they sent her another letter saying "Your MIT acceptance is being revoked. We refuse to allow anyone who would stoop to the level of using Windows Movie Maker into our university. Couldn't you have at least got Vegas or something?".

That was pretty darn cool (maybe a little less impressive than the homemade rocket I'd imagined) but still pretty cool, the earth looks so pretty

Very cool, the footage of the earth looks awesome. I wish i went to a cool university like MIT.

Wolfram01:
I can't get around that they call that "hacking" the tube.

Although the term "hack" primarily refers to computers, technical institutions like MIT have used it since at least the 1960s to refer to any creative but difficult technical accomplishment or practical joke.

The fact that the word first entered mainstream use due to media coverage of computer break-ins in the 1980s biases the term even more.

vansau:

Now, if you need me, I'll just be sitting in the corner feeling like a dumb old man.

I think I'll join you.

I would have turned it into a dube tube, but I guess I'm just not as creative as some.

People like Erin make the world feel all right.

MurderousToaster:
I'd find it hilarious if they sent her another letter saying "Your MIT acceptance is being revoked. We refuse to allow anyone who would stoop to the level of using Windows Movie Maker into our university. Couldn't you have at least got Vegas or something?".

This is too awesome for Windows anything. My computer bluescreened the moment I clicked the video.

I'll be quite honest, I hate people like this.

They remind me how my life is so meaningless compared to theirs.

I feel so stupid :/ but not particularly useless since most people end up living for themselves anyway no matter how smart
BUT then there's still hope in humanity and smart college students for the future :P

So, does it make me a geek or a Paris Hilton clone when upon seeing that video my first response was: "That's hot" ?

That was....pretty amazing actually. I wish I was as smart as her!

this is very odd. a guy from lithuania did similar thing few days ago, so when i clicked on the title i was expecting an article about him, and turns out this is a totally different person. very intresting.

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