STOCKBRIDGE, Mich. (WLNS) – A satellite balloon built from scratch hovered at an altitude of more than 90,000 feet. It’s a mission Stockbridge High School teacher Bob Richards says first started when a group of students came to him with an idea.
“They said Mr. Richards we know what we want to do next year. We want to build a QB satellite and I’m like ok sure let’s do it. Do some research and get back to me with the cost and some ideas. Well they must have stayed up all night because my phone was pinging all night,” said Business and Technology teacher at Stockbridge High School, Bob Richards.
The students worked on the project for six months. The goal was to see if their balloon would hold up in space from around 70,000 feet, but it surpassed expectations.
“It’s just unbelievable,” said Stockbridge Junior, Jason Gruber.
With high-quality cameras on board, they were able to track the balloon hovering somewhere over the Michigan – Ohio border with live data the entire way. The balloon registered temperatures as low as negative 55 degrees, and at one point it was traveling more than 155 miles per hour.
“It just really put me in perspective of what we are doing and how crazy it is,” said Stockbridge Senior, Jack Hammerberg.
Student Elliana Johnson says it’s a project she won’t ever forget.
“I think it really taught me about teamwork and just the fact that you know I’m not going to be able to control everything and that I have to leave it in somebody else’s hands because obviously, they are going to be more experienced and well versed in something that I am,” said Johnson.
Proof for Mr. Richards that this mission was a success.
“I’m really blown away by their ingenuity. They look at things differently than I do. I’m almost 60 and set in my ways some would say but they are fresh you know they have fresh ideas, they’re curious.”
If you’re wondering where the satellite ended up? The group says it safely landed in a field in Ohio where the team picked it up.