Rubber chicken sent to edge of space… wearing a knitted NASA spacesuit
Of all the things we expected to see today, a rubber chicken wearing a knitted NASA suit and floating at the edge of space, wasn't one of them. Luckily High School students in California had other ideas.
Kids from Bishop Union High School used a helium balloon to send the bird, called Camilla (the mascot of the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory), to an altitude of 120,000ft in her lunchbox spaceship.
As part of their science project they wanted to test the levels of radiation during a proton storm -- a M8-class solar flare early on March 10, 2012. And Camilla, who was just the job.
She was joined on her mission by several insects and sunflower seeds and after rising to the edge of space the balloon which had been carrying her expanded so much it exploded and came hurtling back to Earth at 500 mph.