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Students from Cockermouth Sixth Form aim sky high with space balloon expedition

A team of 10 students from Cockermouth School are taking part in a challenge set by REACT Engineering to send a balloon into the stratosphere.

The project, known as the “Elevated Horizons” balloon project, has been set up by REACT Engineering to put the skills of the students to the ultimate test. For their mission to be successful, they must manage to record 360-degree video footage of the balloon ascending into the blackness of space and descending at an astronomical rate. As well as this, the team must record information such as temperature, air pressure and radiation levels.

There are two other teams taking part from UTC and West Lakes Academy. The idea behind it is to challenge each of the students and see their different approaches to solving the problems that they will face. The teams are competing to see who can capture the most mesmerising footage.

Project manager Sam Moore said: “It’s been such a challenging project, but the team has really stuck together and we’re almost ready to launch, which is fantastic.”

The footage will be converted to form a virtual reality experience that will be put to the test by local primary school children.

The initial project was set up by REACT in October to challenge aspiring young engineers in the local area in order to expand their skills and to give them a taste of what it would be like to think and solve a problem as an engineer. The team has also been getting advice from local engineering firm CREATEC as well as past students from Cockermouth School who took part in a similar project in 2013.

Pete Woolaghan of REACT foundation says; “We at the Foundation are excited to learn about the team’s experiences on the project and ultimately view the footage the team’s payload brings back to earth.’ ‘Elevated Horizons is a fantastic way to engage students in science, engineering, and technology and encourage them to look at these disciplines for a career.”

The team plan to launch the payload between late February to early March at Cockermouth School.

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