December 1, 2012
Barbara A. Schmitz
Five Harvard University students launched the hamburger into space on Oct. 27, and their YouTube video of the feat has gone viral. The hamburger reached nearly 100,000 feet before the balloon that was taking it upward popped and sent the sandwich plummeting back down to Earth.
ABC News reported that a local restauranteur financed the $1,000 project for the chance to become a fast food space pioneer. To prepare for the launch, juniors Renzo Lucioni, Nuseir Yassin, Daniel Broudy, Jamie Law-Smith and Matt Moellman Renzo glued the layers of a two-day-old burger together and coated it with spray-on varnish. They then attached it to a weather balloon filled with helium, which launched the burger, as well as a camera and a GPS tracking device.
The video shows the hamburger reaching 80,000 feet, 90,000 feet and higher, before you hear a pop and see shreds of the balloon and the falling hamburger.
After hours of searching, the five found the burger in a tree, about 100 feet up and 130 miles from where it started. The students unsuccessfully tried to knock it out of the tree’s branches using a bow and arrow. But a storm knocked it down a few days later.
According to Boston.com, the group was inspired after reading about a group of MIT students who launched a camera into space using a weather balloon in 2009.
The next stop is Putrajaya, Malaysia, on May 17 and 18 for the 2014 Red Bill Air Race World Championship, following an “electrifying” contest in Rovinj, Croatia.
AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg talks with AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Advocacy Jim Coon on his first 100 days and the top advocacy issues confronting AOPA.
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