Students prepare to launch balloons to get bird’s-eye view of solar eclipse

For the first time advances in technology will make it possible for world-wide solar eclipse enthusiasts to watch live-streamed video of the celestial phenomenon – and they are doing it with balloons.
 
55 ballooning teams participating in NASA’s Space Grant Ballooning Project have spent more than a year preparing for the Aug. 21 coast-to-coast solar eclipse.
 
“For the past year-and-a half I have been thinking of nothing but this eclipse, every day, every night. Constantly thinking of little ways to improve or to change the system for the better,” College of Charleston team lead Sam Fink told Fox News. “I can’t put into words how excited I am.”

HOW CAN I SEE THE TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE?

Director of Low Country Hall of Science and Math Cynthia Hall along with her team of former and current students are working with South Carolina NASA Space Grant to launch and control a helium-filled balloon above the clouds. 

“We are going to start launching balloons in Oregon in the morning and we will be the finale here in Charleston. Those all will be streamed live,” Hall explained. “Even if it is cloudy we will be above the clouds. So hopefully we will get to see a shadow coming across earth as the moon comes between the earth and the sun.”
 
Hall says they have also partnered with the Coast Guard who will escort Hall, 4 members of her team as well as NASA officials five to 10 miles off the coast where they will be launching the high tech contraption.

EARTH WILL HAVE ITS LAST TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE IN ABOUT 600 MILLION YEARS

“We will take some video and we have some science experiments on there (the balloon’s payload) recording this phenomenon we hardly ever get to experience,” Hall said enthusiastically. 

The team only has a 30-minute window to send off the balloon. Once it launches from the boat it will be…

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