A little dose of Awesome: Lego in Space!

4.5 months of weekends and CA$400 well spent – excellent science project. Hurrah for Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad!

Two Canadian high school students have launched a Lego man almost 25 kilometres above sea level – high enough to capture video of the plastic toy hovering above the curvature of the Earth.

Read more: The Age

They used a commercial weather balloon to loft it, and a home-stitched parachute to land it. There’s more details and photos in this Daily Mail story.

Of course some people are saying it must be fake “because it would have burnt up on re-entry” – that’s not my understanding of what happens to equipment that is is descending from within the stratosphere with little angular momentum to shed – pretty damn sure it’s only objects which re-enter at speed from above the mesosphere that build up enough friction-heat to burn up. Any rocket scientists like to chime in?

Categories: fun & hobbies, technology

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6 replies

  1. P.S. a seven year-old and his dad from Brooklyn did something similar last year – attaching a smartphone to a weather balloon and sending it off. I wonder if either team got air traffic control clearance before launch?

    Homemade Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.Video from a weather balloon that rose into the upper stratosphere and recorded the blackness of space. Visit brooklynspaceprogram.org to support the team.

  2. Almost certainly its real – its kind of popular atm to take photos of random stuff at high altitudes. Looks like it’d be fun too! Someone did a talk about a similar project in Australia at Linux.conf.au and did a balloon launch after
    For those that are in Adelaide there is Project Horus – http://projecthorus.org/ – you can help out and go along to launches.

  3. Clearly if it was real the Lego man would have had to be wearing his spacesuit.

  4. Apart from the clear abuse of the Lego man by not providing protective clothing, it’s entirely plausible and there is no risk of burning up. You are exactly right, no momentum to shed, no source of intense friction.
    It’s very cool, and the best story to brag about. I’m jealous.

  5. There’s also the spacebridge people – they did this quite a while ago. The person with the stripey pants at the start is from Perth, I think they are all mostly googlers.
    It’s a weather balloon with a foam esky hanging containing an Android phone.

  6. Speaking as a rocket scientist, you’re right, and that’s awesome.

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