The strange story behind the kite that flew through space and entered the Guinness Book of Records

Humans are always willing to break known boundaries. We always want to be the fastest, the most efficient, the most experienced…the most and the best at everything, in short. That’s what the science club at Kesgrave High School in Suffolk, UK, thought. His professor Dave Green gathered a group of students in 2015 to complete the Stratos 3 mission.. the goal? Make flying a kite from the highest possible point a reality.

Many prototypes have been created, from the simplest to the most complex, pushing the limits allowed by your paper and origami skills. Designs of all kinds have been tested: With more wings, less width, with spikes at the end of the body… everything. In the end the simplest thing won: a kite with wide wings and a clear fuselage. You can see the result in the image accompanying these lines.

This is the aircraft that was built during the Stratos 3 mission.

When the design is finished, there are still issues to solve. To get started, the team needed a shape strong and heavy enough to support the small GPS device without affecting its flight. At first they tried to laminate the paper, but that was not enough. Finally they decided to fold the back of the card. Its dimensions have not changed: it is 32 cm long and 38 cm wide from tip to tip of the wings.

June 24, 2015. The members of Stratos III, led by their mentor Dave Green, boarded two trucks bound for a virgin meadow on the outskirts of Cambridge. The tension can be cut with a knife. To complete the launch process, they created a simple but complex autonomous system. The aircraft was mounted on a type of trigger arm connected to a Global Positioning System (GPS). When the device determines the desired height, the mechanism is automatically activated to complete the remote launch.

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The climb was perfectAs you can see for yourself in the video they prepared for this occasion. The balloons continued to raise the structure until an altitude of 35,043 metres, at which point the aircraft took off in the maneuver of the ages. This is not an exaggeration: currently Holds the Guinness World Record To launch a kite from the highest height. Getting it back after a fall was a small problem that could be solved successfully in the end.

For Green, his success goes beyond just entering the annals of history: “For me, there was a great feeling of satisfaction when I saw that the project attracted both boys and girls at the institute.. Participation in the Space Club increased significantly as the launch date approached. I hope this will encourage others to think about this type of project in their schools and institutes. Record.

Myrtle Frost

"Reader. Evil problem solver. Typical analyst. Unapologetic internet ninja."

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