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Space & Astronomy

Star Wars fans send X-Wing in to space

April 30, 2015 | Comment icon 25 comments



The X-Wing was filmed against the blackness of space. Image Credit: YouTube / Project Helium Tears
Two amateur astronomers have succeeded in placing a model fighter in to orbit using a weather balloon.
While the events of the Star Wars saga remain firmly rooted in the realms of science fiction, two ambitious fans have succeeded in bringing at least one aspect of the films in to the real world by launching a model X-Wing fighter in to orbit around the Earth.

Matt Kingsnorth and Phil St. Pier attached the model spacecraft to a high-altitude weather balloon along with a camera and launched the whole thing in to the stratosphere where they captured some impressive footage with the sun and the Earth in the background.
The rig managed to rise to an altitude of 118,000 feet ( 22 miles ) above the planet's surface.

It later emerged that the intrepid duo, who spent six months and $1,840 building the project, were hoping that the stunt would net them tickets to The Force Awakens premier later this year.

The video they recorded of the X-Wing in space can be viewed below.



Source: Space.com | Comments (25)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #16 Posted by Norbert Dentressangle 7 years ago
Well, from what they say they got up to 22 miles altitude, while Low Earth Orbit starts at 99 miles or 160 kilometres, according to reliable sources, so they'd have some way to go before they got in anyone's way.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Ozfactor 7 years ago
Forget tickets to the premier of The Force Awakens , give them a cameo in Star Wars episode VIII
Comment icon #18 Posted by Astra- 7 years ago
Well, from what they say they got up to 22 miles altitude, while Low Earth Orbit starts at 99 miles or 160 kilometres, according to reliable sources, so they'd have some way to go before they got in anyone's way. You might like to read this Norbert - but of course you are entitled to your opinion http://www.space.com...space-junk.html
Comment icon #19 Posted by pallidin 7 years ago
You might like to read this Norbert - but of course you are entitled to your opinion http://www.space.com...space-junk.html Perhaps you misunderstood his comment. "Space" does not "begin" until an altitude of 62 miles. Even at that height, an object without further lift propulsion will fall back to the ground relatively quickly... depending on weather conditions as it descends and eventually encounters any significant atmospheric wind movements(which it would not encounter until much lower than 62 miles altitude) Other factors which determine how long it takes for an object dropped from that h... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by Astra- 7 years ago
Perhaps you misunderstood his comment. "Space" does not "begin" until an altitude of 62 miles. Even at that height, an object without further lift propulsion will fall back to the ground relatively quickly... depending on weather conditions as it descends and eventually encounters any significant atmospheric wind movements(which it would not encounter until much lower than 62 miles altitude) Other factors which determine how long it takes for an object dropped from that height also come into play. The point being, though, he is correct. Even at the beginning of LEO(low earth orbit), which is a... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by Ozfactor 7 years ago
Thanks pallidin for explaining things. But even so, I still regard it as space debris, and being a possible hindrance to other flying craft - ie: either going up, or coming down ? As Eldorado had asked in an earlier post - "Does one need a permit to launch stuff into orbit?" I feel it was a very valid question. Did these amateur astonomers [as clever as they were] ask for permission first, to try out their experiment ? Maybe different countries, have differing laws concerning this. Could it be termed as a threat to planes ? the balloon going up could have been hit by a plane, helicopter etc . ... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by Astra- 7 years ago
Could it be termed as a threat to planes ? the balloon going up could have been hit by a plane, helicopter etc . It could have been blown off course and careered into the path of air traffic . I would be interested in how this is seen legally . Yes, that is what I am curious about Oz.I think our country has very strict guid lines concerning launching anything into airplane space, let alone launching something into the stratosphere. Gosh, could you imagine the idiots that would try - if it was a free for all
Comment icon #23 Posted by Norbert Dentressangle 7 years ago
Thanks pallidin for explaining things. But even so, I still regard it as space debris, and being a possible hindrance to other flying craft - ie: either going up, or coming down ? As Eldorado had asked in an earlier post - "Does one need a permit to launch stuff into orbit?" I feel it was a very valid question. Did these amateur astonomers [as clever as they were] ask for permission first, to try out their experiment ? Maybe different countries, have differing laws concerning this. It wouldn't reach orbit, it'd go up and then straight back down. It is pretty good publicity for whatever camera ... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by Astra- 7 years ago
It wouldn't reach orbit, it'd go up and then straight back down. It is pretty good publicity for whatever camera they sued (I expect a Gopro) to survive this little expedition, to be sure. Well - I'm just going by what the article said Norbert, about orbit. [btw, that rhymes] Even so - whether it was just pretty good publicity or not. It seems that it has been done before. Meet Lego Man - http://www.space.com...ratosphere.html
Comment icon #25 Posted by DefenceMinisterMishkin 7 years ago
Death Star would have been cooler.. Missed opportunity


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