Seton Hall Prep STEM class launches high-pressure balloons to circle the globe
STEM students at Seton Hall Prep are creating balloons
to circle the globe.
The school’s STEM class launched a pair of high-pressure balloons back
in January while learning about meteorology.
The monthlong planning was aimed at getting a pair of
feather-weight balloons and payloads off the ground and riding the winds at an
optimum 45,000 feet to travel the world.
It's an all-time record for not one but
two balloons to be launched successfully. The students hope to break the six times around the Earth record.
“Before the balloon launch, I had no idea what to expect,” says project
manager Patrick McGowan. “I had zero experience. I doubt anyone on the team had any experience
either, and with the margin of error with these being so slim as is, we were
unsure the balloon would even make it to Europe. That being said, everyone on
the team approached the situation as professionally and as businesslike as
possible, all making sure that everything went as smooth as possible. Because
of that, the launch went off without a hitch and we shattered expectations,
making it three times around the world and going."
The balloons were tracked over Italy, Israel and Syria -- and are still
flying. They sailed over the Atlantic Ocean twice and Wednesday will mark four weeks
since they were launched.
The students will be holding a seminar for other
schools to present their findings later this year at Montclair State