This Christmas ornament has touched space.
On Nov. 2, 2017, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched a space weather balloon to the stratosphere. These kids do science, and the payload of their balloon carried an array of cosmic ray sensors to measure radiation coming from deep space. Oh, and one more thing…. BB-8! During the 2.5 hour flight, the plucky robot experienced temperatures as low as -67 C, air pressure less than 0.5% of sea level, and cosmic ray dose rates 100x Earth-normal. After the balloon exploded 107,342 feet above the Sierra Nevada mountains of central California, BB-8 parachuted back to Earth, landing in the desert near Silver Peak, Nevada.
BB-8 comes with a unique gift card showing the ornament floating at the top of Earth’s atmosphere. The interior of the card tells the story of the flight and confirms that BB-8 has been to the edge of space and back again. It *also* comes with a bonus photo of BB-8 in the stratosphere. Hang it on your tree alongside BB-8 to impress holiday visitors!