Blame Canada, they say, well this time you certainly can. According to a source, a couple of canadian teens spent $400 on a science project to send their flag holding lego man far up into the air. Matthew Ho and Asad Muhammad put together a few things they had around the house and a couple used items from craigslist.com to build their very own working weather balloon. The two teens were inspired by a group of MIT students who sent their own weather balloon into the stratosphere just a couple of years ago.
In the experiment, the boys packed a foam cooler with a few gel handwarmers, a couple of cameras and a cell phone with built in GPS. Matt and Asad filled their weather balloon with 165 dollars worth of helium to nearly its bursting point; Ho explained his reasoning behind this to the Toronto Star:
“If you fill your balloon, say, halfway, it will reach a higher max altitude, but then obviously it’s got a lot more time in the air so it has a lot more time that it could be affected by wind, A perfect flight plan would be just up and down, on the same spot. The less we had to drive to retrieve Lego Man that was our goal, especially since we’re surrounded by so many lakes. There were so many problems that could go wrong.”
Once the balloon reached its bursting point, the parachute they fabricated would bring the experiment back to the surface of the Earth. A little over an hour and a half after launch, the boys used the GPS to track down the experiment to a wooded area near Rice Lake in Canada.