Elysium to launch this Sunday!

Elysium experiment tray ready to fly
Elysium experiment tray loaded and ready to fly into the stratosphere

The second MARSBalloon flight of 2014, named Elysium after a volcanic region of Mars, is planned for liftoff on Sunday 26th October at approximately noon.

You can follow the balloon and chase car live via the Elysium mission page, and there will be regular twitter updates on the day (@marsballoon).

Launch will take place from a Thales UK site in the Mendips by a team of Space engineers from Thales Alenia Space UK (TAS UK) with assistance from the University of Bristol Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (Bristol SEDS).

The flight is expected to take 2 hours and 15 mins from launch to landing with a peak altitude of close to 30km. A landing east of Basingstoke is predicted with a recovery by the chase team soon after.

On board will be a great variety of student Mars science experiments including:

  • Human skin bacteria;
  • Ultraviolet, temperature and battery temperature sensors;
  • A new pico-sized balloon tracking system developed by Bristol SEDS (trust us, its tiny!);
  • A comparison between leaded and un-leaded solder;
  • A test of three different sunscreens (SPF 15, 30 & 50);
  • A GPS tracker that sends SMS messages of its location (all inside a kinder egg!);
  • Marshmallows, custard, guitar strings, teabags and may more!

The infographic below shows what will happen to the experiments on their journey to 30km altitude and Mars-like conditions:


For a complete list of experiments and participating schools on Elysium please check out the mission’s dedicated page.



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