Blog | World Space Week day 2: Up, up and away
We’re celebrating World Space Week with a rundown of some amazing Scout endeavours. Check out this incredible short film, made by a Scout Troop who sent their mascot to the edge of space...
In one of the most unusual and amazing programme activities we’ve ever heard of, 5th Hucknall Scouts from Nottingham sent their Troop mascot, Simon the Frog, to the edge of space by attaching him to a weather balloon, along with a payload carrying tracking and recording devices.
They were helped by high-altitude balloon enthusiast Dave Akerman, who planned and co-ordinated the launch. Simon the Frog logged an altitude of 116,483 feet, taking him into the Earth’s stratosphere. It was the 36th highest altitude ever achieved by a balloon. An onboard camera captured amazing footage of the two-and-a-half-hour flight and Simon’s safe return back to earth, which the Scouts turned into a music video. They entered it into a short film festival for young filmmakers.
Scout leader Andrew Anderson said: ‘We owe a huge debt of gratitude to David Akerman, who supplied the balloon, helium and trackers to find it after it landed. The idea came about last summer when I saw a video on YouTube where someone had sent a toy robot to the edge of space. When the Scouts started back after the summer break, I asked them if they wanted to do something similar. They were very, very excited about doing the same but replacing the toy robot with something Scouting-related. We raised more than £250 and bought a GoPro HD camera. But we could not have done it without the help we received from Mr Akerman.
‘The project went a lot better than I thought it would. The balloon went higher than expected and we obtained better footage than we had anticipated. The Scouts are over the moon about it all. This is not the sort of thing you do every day but it was something special for the youngsters to get involved with.’
Find out more
World Space Week runs from 4 to 10 October. Visit worldspaceweek.org
Astronautics is just one of an amazing array of activities open to Scouts. Find out more about what we do.