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Dublin: 12°C Friday 14 May 2021

Yet more images of space - from a paper aeroplane

First a New York dad, now a Devon science buff takes photographs from space – with a helium balloon and paper plane.

Image: SWNS

THREE SPACE BUFFS from Devon have released images they managed to take from outer space – using just a helium balloon and a paper aeroplane.

Steve Daniels, Lester Haines and John Oates – from Devon, but who launched their experiment in Spain to capitalise on clearer skies – attached their paper plane, with a wingspan of about 3 feet, to a helium balloon, and fitted it with a camera – hidden candidly inside a small doll of an astronaut.

Letting the plane go 50 miles west of Madrid on October 28, their contraption rose 90,000 feet into the air – a good 23 miles, about four times the height at which commercial airliners fly – before the helium expended, bursting the balloon, and sending the plane falling back down to earth.

A small GPS unit inside the plane directed the amateur astronomers back to where the plane had landed – in the woods, about 100 miles away – from where they recovered the camera and were able to examine some of the shots it had taken.

Images from SWNS.com.

Yet more images of space - from a paper aeroplane
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The project – dubbed ‘Operation PARIS’, with the acronym standing for ‘Paper Aircraft Released Into Space’ – cost the team about £8,000 in total, but the gang admitted there was no real “point” to their experiment.

“Somebody launched a bit of cheese out of a balloon, which we thought was bit stupid,” Daniels said. ”We thought we could do something more technical than that. It seems really silly but it was brilliant fun.

“‘Nobody had ever done it before, so we were worried about what could go wrong. It was a little bit stressful.”

Oates added: “We wanted a daft project but we were amazed by how successful it was. We are absolutely delighted.”

Last month, a dad from Brooklyn launched a similar stunt using an iPhone and a weather balloon – in an attempt to show his son that science could be cool.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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