Space balloon mission launched in Kerry hailed a success

Organisers say they have captured ‘stunning images’ from the edge of space

 

A space balloon launched in Co Kerry which travelled to the edge of space has been recovered after making its way back to earth.

Organisers say the mission was a “complete success” and the camera attached to the balloon has captured some “stunning images” making its way back to earth.

The balloon which is part of an international project involving several space agencies, including NASA was recovered in a field in Co Clare on Wednesday afternoon.

Organisers of the event are now going through the images and videos recorded from the expedition.

The balloon was carrying cameras and electronic equipment, left earth with the aim of capturing photographs from the edge of space.

The project is part of a nine-week training programme for future space industry leaders, being carried out at Cork Institute of Technology in conjunction with the International Space University.

James Grandfield who is a member of The Irish Rocketry Society told The Irish Times that the balloon left earth shortly after midday before travelling straight up into outer space.

“As part of this program, we launched a Space Balloon from the Met Eireann Observatory in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry today. The balloon was armed with a package on board containing cameras, GPS trackers and other electronics. We hope at the very least to capture some stunning images and video from the edge of space, showing the curvature of the earth and hopefully more data also,” said Mr Grandfield.

A lot of the participants on the nine week course are already working in the space industry internationally.

“The balloon that we launched has returned to earth and we are literally going through the footage now to see what we have captured. The balloon travelled as far as it could before bursting due to the altitude.

“There was a parachute attached to the equipment which was hoped to capture some stunning images on the way back. The camera is currently in a field . . . surrounded by cows so we will know soon enough if it’s been a successful operation,” added Mr Grandfield.

Organisers are now accessing the material they have captured from the edge of space.