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Launch into space -

weather balloon in the stratosphere

<p>Launch into space -</p>

Launch into space

weather balloon in the stratosphere

<p>Launch into space</p>

Project Description

50 years after the first moon landing, class 8b launch a weather balloon up to an altitude of 40 km.

The project of 18 eighth-graders at a high school in Buchloe (Gymnasium Buchloe) involved sending a weather balloon with technical equipment into the stratosphere. "We came relatively close to the record for balloon flights," says class and physics teacher Florian Kohl. The 42-year-old wanted to carry out a special project last year with his class from the science track. His idea was to launch a weather balloon.

"I got the idea from the Internet," he says. After that, he and his students got down to work. They used a commercially available weather balloon made of particularly thin silicone. "This material is known for its tear-resistance, thus making it possible to calculate the height at which the helium-filled balloon bursts," explains Florian Kohl. "After all, the load must come down again somehow, otherwise it would drift off with the balloon into nirvana."

The flight route was then calculated. "This calculation can be carried out pretty accurately," says Mr. Kohl. The weather balloon flew up to an altitude of almost 40,000 meters. Then - almost as calculated - it burst. The camera in a box which the balloon had carried up with it recorded the pieces of the balloon flying in space above the Earth. The flight took place with no major complications, and although the parachute did not manage to open completely, the probe landed almost intact around three hours later. With the aid of GPS , the class was able to locate the probe a little south of a place called Leutkirch, where it was salvaged from an open field.

On its way to the edge of space - the highest altitude reached by the probe was 39,907 meters - the on-board camera was able to take some spectacular images. The other measuring equipment on board also recorded a lot of data on the way. The lowest temperature of around - 40 °C was reached at an altitude of 12,000 m. In the tropopause and the stratosphere, a typical rise in temperature was then measured.

The probe's movements were recorded using a GPS data logger. In free fall, it reached a fall speed of over 400 km/h immediately after the balloon burst. Later, the probe slowed down to almost 50 km/h and landed safely. A view of the Earth and space from an altitude of 40 kilometers, documenting the journey there, the planned destruction of the balloon and the search for the remains using GPS - that's how interesting physics lessons can be with the support of the Frank Hirschvogel Foundation.

Project details

Topic: STEM

Age category: 12 - 18 years

Venue: Educational institution

Duration: 1 Day

Requirements: maximum of 30 school students

Project funding

It is possible for the Frank Hirschvogel Foundation to assume the travel and material costs.

Project inquiry