On the morning of 14th March, St Mary’s and St Margaret’s launched a teddy, Mary Margaret, into near space. With the weather cleared as safe and the go ahead from the civil aviation authority, Mary Margaret was attached to a black box data recorder monitoring temperature, humidity, air pressure, GPS location, acceleration and magnetometry.

With an audience of pupils and staff from both St Mary’s and St Margaret’s, Mary Margaret was attached to a huge helium balloon and parachute. The wind was blowing quite hard by this time so the launch was quite tricky but eventually, with a loud countdown from the crowd, Mary Margaret was airborne and quickly disappeared from sight.

During the course of today, Mary Margaret will ascend about 30km into the stratosphere. As the air pressure decreases, the balloon will get bigger and bigger until it is the size of a double decker bus and then it will explode. Mary Margaret will start accelerating fast towards earth, but as the parachute kicks in she will slow down and land this afternoon somewhere near Oxford. Mary Margaret will be collected and placed in pride of place in the Science Department, Calne’s first near space astronaut. We will be uploading the footage of the flight later in the week and using the data collected in our Physics and Maths lessons over the next year.

(The video of Mary Margaret's incredible journey to space can now be seen on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/stmaryscalne/ ) 

Mrs Alexandra Haydon, Head of Science