The PEEPonauts

PEEP-O-NAUTS TAKE RISKY TRIP TO THE EDGE OF SPACE: On April 20th, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched a pair of suborbital helium balloons to the stratosphere. One payload carried a radiation sensor to measure the effects of the Easter geomagnetic storm on Earth’s upper atmosphere. The other payload carried a colony of halobacteria in an experiment to find out if the extremophiles could live at the edge of space. In honor of the holiday, the students launched some peeps as halobacteria companions. As this movie shows, it’s risky being a peep-o-naut:

The near-miss only 2000 ft. above the launch site almost brought an explosive end to the mission. Fortunately, the two balloons carried on to the stratosphere, gathering data on the solar storm in progress during the flight. Here is what peeps look like at the edge of space. Later, the peeps and halobacteria parachuted to Earth, landing in a tree in the Inyo Mountains of central California.