June 2015: Firestar


Firestar, named after the ancient Chinese name for Mars, was the fifth MARSBalloon mission launched into the stratosphere at noon Wednesday the 17th June 2015. On board were 80 Mars science experiments from 42 primary and secondary schools from around the UK.

The balloon reached 31km altitude over a two hour flight where the experiments were exposed to temperatures as low as -50°C, pressures 1/100th that of sea level and increased levels of radiation all of which are very similar to the surface of Mars.

The 80 experiments launched on Firestar will bring the total number of science experiments flown by MARSBalloon to over 350 over the course of three years. On this flight some of the standout experiments include tests of Mars-like conditions on Sheep’s eye balls, UV florescent slime, photochromic paper, smoke matches, magnesium ribbon, toothpaste, enzymes, algae, live plants, sea monkey eggs, antibiotics and several electronics sensors including light and UV.

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