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UCAN Launch ‘MARS2018’ into SPACE! - 04/07/2018

The Science Department at UCAN have been working with the MARSBalloon Team at Future Martians to launch a balloon into space as part of their STEM activities.

The project aims to give students practical experience of designing things to go into Space and other planets. It also aims to get students to consider careers in the UK Space and other high tech industries.

MARSBalloon is an exciting project for students to carry out Mars science experiments without having to put on a spacesuit. The balloon will carry the experiment to an altitude of 30km, more than twice the height of commercial airliners, where they will be above 99% of Earth’s atmosphere.

Along the way the balloon will experience conditions very similar to the surface of Mars including temperatures of -50°C, pressures 1/100th that of sea level and an increased radiation dose.

The balloon was launched from the site in the Mendips at around noon on Tuesday 19th June. The balloon was expected to travel for 3-hours and reached up to a 30km altitude and a 30-minute descent, landing somewhere in Oxfordshire.

The flight was tracked by the MARSBalloon Team and radio amateurs around the country.

Miss Higgins, Project Coordinator said: “The 6 UCAN STEM Ambassadors who participated in the MARSBalloon project have worked extremely hard and have made UCAN proud. Together they sent up 15 projects all designed around what humanity needs on Mars. The results from their research could contribute to the technologies and advances we take to the Mars colonies. Miss Higgins and the ambassadors are excited to welcome the eggs back and look at the impact of the environment.”