Teens Send Lego Man Into Space
A Lego man went on one wild ride when two Canadian teenagers attached the toy to a homemade weather balloon, complete with video cams, and launched it into the stratosphere.
Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad, two 17-year-olds from outside Toronto, designed and built a helium weather balloon for the Lego man's joyride, according to the Toronto Star. They mounted four different cameras to the contraption to record it all, and sent the toy into the atmosphere, where it climbed to an estimated 80,000 feet.
The tiny toy, holding an even tinier Canadian flag, cleared the Earth's atmosphere during the 97-minute journey and captured astonishing footage of the Earth from above.
"We didn't really believe we could do it until we did," Ho told the Star, which first reported on the teens' project Wednesday.
The humble experiment began four months ago and was completely homespun, according to the Star. On a budget of $500, Ho and Muhammad scoured Craigslist for cameras, sewed their own balloon parachute at Muhammad's mother's sewing machine, bought the necessary pieces online, and then assembled it all, using a Styrofoam box as the base.
The teens were able to recover the Lego man and cameras, which landed approximately 75 miles from the Toronto park where they launched it, thanks to a cell phone's GPS app they affixed to the device.
"It shows a tremendous degree of resourcefulness," University of Toronto Astrophysics professor Dr. Michael Reid told the Star. "For two 17-year-olds to accomplish this on their own is pretty impressive."