13 Year Old Sends Hello Kitty to Near Space in Balloon


A girl’s ambitious school project made it to nearly 100,000 feet.

A 13 year old girl in Antioch, California has launched a homemade high altitude balloon that made it to 93,625 feet. While her project was on the effects of altitude on air pressure and temperature, Lauren Rojas couldn’t help but add a little swag to her shiny silver faux rocket in the form of a Hello Kitty doll. Why Hello Kitty? “I liked her ever since I was 6 years old,” Rojas told NY Daily News. “My love for Hello Kitty has never gone away and I thought it would be really fun to add a toy inside the rocket.” Launched from an altitude of 623 feet, video footage captured by cameras that Rojas included on the balloon shows as the craft is buffeted by strong winds and travels through the coldest parts of earth’s atmosphere. As the balloon ascended, its volume expanded to about 53 times its original size and finally burst. When Hello Kitty and capsule returned to earth, they were 50 feet up in a tree and 47.5 miles from their original launch site.

In addition to Hello Kitty, the balloon carried cameras, barometers, and thermometers. Rodney Rojas, Lauren’s father, made his understated opening bid for father of the year by commenting that “In the end it really turned out to be much more than a science experiment. It’s something that we will remember for a long time.” Lauren Rojas has posted the video to YouTube for the internet to enjoy, and the NY Daily Post is reporting that Rojas’ teacher will be showing the video to “all of her classes.”

Source: NY Daily News

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