SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -- A group of high school students in Northwest Spokane recently got a closer look at space in a unique way.
They attached several cameras to a weather balloon and launched it thousands of feet into the atmosphere.
Two months before, a group of WSU students similarly launched a balloon with a camera. St. George students, however, were also able to capture the spectacular landing.
Last Thursday, the 16 St. George students attached two GoPro cameras to the weather balloon. One camera belonged to the school, so they felt some pressure to get it back in one piece. The group built one of the devices themselves and used a ready-made one for backup.
The balloon reached speeds of 120 miles per hour into the jet stream. The team tracked it as it traveled 75 miles northeast of Connell. It climbed to 100,000 feet before it exploded and then went into a free fall for tens of thousands of feet.
The parachute slowed the descent. Video from the camera showed it landing in a wheat field near Harrington, a couple miles from where the group’s online calculations predicted it would land.