-- Fitted with specialized camera and GPS tracking equipment, Sam the dog made his epic journey up into the stratosphere and back safely down to Earth yesterday.
But animal lovers need not worry -- the stuffed toy animal’s journey was part of a partnership between an English hotel group, scientists and schoolchildren at a local English primary school to teach the kids more about space and physics.
The school joined forces with English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues and SentIntoSpace.com on the educational project, which aims to get kids hands-on experience in planning their own space missions.
“Everyone involved had a great time, and we think it’s a great tool for getting kids involved in learning about the world around them,” Chris Rose, executive director of SentIntoSpace.com, told ABC News.
While weather conditions have made recovering Sam and all the data recorded during his journey challenging, the schoolchildren are already planning a rescue mission for the missing pup.
"When we told the children that Sam had detached from the balloon and was missing, you could hear a pin drop in the room," Siobhan Collingwood -- a teacher at the school -- told ABC News. "But already the children have started a rescue mission to get Sam back safely."