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Published on Mar 14, 2012
Ever wondered what happens at 119,000 feet, minus 83 degrees fahrenheit, air pressures akin to those on the planet Mars - and your propulsion system bursts? What happens next is a brief free fall at 500 mph before parachuting nearly 40 km to the Earth below.
Here is how I experienced all of this last Saturday morning, March 10, 2012. All while carrying a solar radiation badge to measure the solar radiation impact in the Stratosphere after the M-class solar flare earlier that morning. Also with me on board; sunflower seeds. Those were a variety called "Sunspot" (Helianthus annuus). These are shorter than the more familiar giant variety and are favorites in classrooms where space is limited.
All of this is real, no Hollywood, no stunt double, no camera tricks, no green screen.
This is science! This is engineering! This is what YOU can do too! This is to inspire our kids.
You will be able to read about our scientific findings in one of the upcoming segments of Science@NASA. Stay tuned.