Credit: Earth to Sky Calculus

Credit: Earth to Sky Calculus

Now departing from the “Edge-of-Space Port” is where the Earth to Sky Calculus group release their helium-filled balloons, doing cutting-edge science in a little-explored realm 100,000 feet above the Earth – the stratosphere.

About once a week, these young researchers send their experiments aloft using helium balloons to search for new life forms in the stratosphere and to monitor the effects of cosmic radiation on Earth’s atmosphere.

Credit: Earth to Sky Calculus

Credit: Earth to Sky Calculus

Based in Bishop, California, Earth to Sky Calculus members let loose their sky-high experiments at an altitude of 8,500 feet in the Eastern Sierra mountain range.

Landing sites for parachuting payloads are typically located 10 miles to 70 miles away in the Death Valley National Park, White Mountains, and the Inyo Mountain range of California.

Wanted: sponsors

The club was formed in 2010 and has launched more than 100 research-grade balloons for exploration purposes.

Credit: Earth to Sky Calculus

Credit: Earth to Sky Calculus

The balloons carry payloads focusing on three kinds of research:

— Monitoring cosmic rays in the atmosphere

— Stress-testing Mars microbes

— Developing a biological radiation sensor

Earth to Sky Calculus has no grants or government support.

Each and every flight is paid for by small contributions usually amounting to no more than $500. That’s the minimum cost to launch a flight.

Sponsors have come from all walks of life: retirees, small business owners, parents who want to inspire their own children.

 

Credit: Earth to Sky Calculus

Credit: Earth to Sky Calculus

Sultans of swing

In exchange for a $500 donation, Earth to Sky will fly a birthday card, Christmas card, business logo, or small experiment to the edge of space.

For example, what do you give to that special someone who has everything, but has perfected their golf swing?

On May 25, 2016, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus flew a basket of space-helmeted golf balls to the edge of space, 119,000 feet (36.3 kilometers above Earth’s surface. After the carrier balloon popped at altitude, the balls parachuted back to terra firma, landing in the volcanic tablelands north of Bishop.

Credit: Earth to Sky Calculus

Credit: Earth to Sky Calculus

For $49.95 you can have one of these balls (space helmet included) along with a unique card showing the balls floating at the top of Earth’s atmosphere. The interior of the card tells the story of the flight and confirms that this gift has been to the edge of space and back again.

For more information on Earth to Sky Calculus, their experiments and special offerings go to:

http://earthtosky.net/

To sponsor a flight, contact Tony Phillips at:

dr.tony.phillips@gmail.com

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