Braunton balloon launch sees pupils reach the skies

The high altitude balloon is launched at Caen School as pupils and staff look on. Picture: Contribut

The high altitude balloon is launched at Caen School as pupils and staff look on. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

A balloon launch has given pupils at Caen School in Braunton the chance to view the earth from 100,000 feet.

The high altitude balloon is launched at Caen School as pupils and staff look on. Picture: Contribut

The high altitude balloon is launched at Caen School as pupils and staff look on. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

The high altitude balloon was sent into the stratosphere at the school sports day by members of the Pi, Code and Chips after school club.

The club – for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects – has been working on the balloon project for weeks under the guidance of trainee teacher Bill Harvey.

The payload for the flight included a Raspberry Pi mini computer, plus cameras and sensors.

At a certain height the air pressure caused the balloon to burst and the payload was returned to earth by parachute.

The view recorded by the Caen School high altitude (HAB) balloon as it soared in the atmosphere. Pic

The view recorded by the Caen School high altitude (HAB) balloon as it soared in the atmosphere. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

On the ground at ‘mission control’, pupils monitored the flight and chase cars with pupils and parents set off to track the GPS and recover

Mr Harvey said it had been a great success and reached 106,000 feet, three times the height of Mount Everest.

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“It was a resounding success, all the planning paid off,” he said.

“It flew and landed where it was predicted to - in a field in Herefordshire.”

The view recorded by the Caen School high altitude (HAB) balloon as it soared in the atmosphere. Pic

The view recorded by the Caen School high altitude (HAB) balloon as it soared in the atmosphere. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

The project was inspired by the Raspberry Pi Foundation and British astronaut Major Tim Peake, who recently returned to earth. He has taken a Raspberry Pi into space and proved inspiring to for children around the country.

Mr Harvey is now hoping to work with other schools to help them launch their own high altitude balloon.

Pictures from the flight can be viewed at http://ssdv.habhub.org

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