Tonbridge satellite sent into stratosphere


A satellite built by Tonbridge students has been taken into the stratosphere by a high altitude balloon.

The ‘CANSAT’, created by Mihir Melwani (HS), Kian Patel (WH) and Walter Tso (JH), won a European Space Agency competition to build a satellite in a drinks can.  The satellite’s balloon ride to the edge of space was part of their winning prize.

Accompanied by teachers Adam Cooke and David Faithfull, the boys went off to a pub garden near Bicester, Oxfordshire, for the launch, overseen by high altitude balloon expert Chris Hillcox.  The payload, complete with CANSAT and camera, was sent aloft on a 3m helium weather balloon.

The device reached a height of about 30,000km.  Over two hours later, following a chase around the M25, the payload was recovered, fully intact, from the roof of a nursery greenhouse just east of Welwyn Garden City. The camera had taken some spectacular photographs and videos, and the CANSAT transmitted its data to the ground until the balloon was well over a kilometre up – well above the range the team expected.


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