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Crewe students reach stratosphere
THIS amazing image of the earth from a hundred thousand feet was captured by students from Crewe using a camera attached to a helium balloon.
The South Cheshire College pupils are the first college students in the country to accomplish such a feat.
They designed three separate helium balloon capsules over a six month period, able to withstand extreme weather conditions, and re-programmed digital cameras to take continuous photos during the two hour ascent to the stratosphere.
They attained Civil Aviation Authority approval to launch the balloons from Welshpool, using GPS trackers to monitor their positions above the earth and locate them when they landed.
One balloon landed close to the Shropshire village of St Martin’s; two near to Oswestry on the Welsh border.
Students on the foundation degree mechanical engineering group split into three teams to deliver the project as part of their Design, Build and Test module at the College’s Dane Bank Avenue campus.
Teams were given a £250 budget - with some students even using extra cash from their own pockets to enhance their balloon designs.
Ray Beecham, engineering foundation degree tutor, said: “This was a truly inspiring project for the students who were all really engaged in it from start to finish.
“This was completely unique for South Cheshire College and for other colleges across the country and the work that students produced was of the highest order.”
Liam Mainwaring, who was team leader for Team Bentley, which captured the best photos, said: “This was a great project to be involved with and all the team found it very interesting, and it put our skills to the ultimate test.
“We are really pleased with the final outcome and have got some great photos to show for it.”
Phil Hurrell, head of engineering at South Cheshire College, said the students “have done the College proud.”