Nothing says “I Love You” like a Valentine’s pendant from the edge of space. On Dec. 31, 2017, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus flew a payload-full of these heart-shaped pendants to the stratosphere, 35.1 km (115,158 feet) above Earth’s surface. The were carried aloft by a helium-filled space weather balloon. The payload also carried an array of cosmic ray sensors, which the students use to monitor deep-space radiation penetrating Earth’s atmosphere. A waxing supermoon appeared frequently behind the floating pendant, adding its luster to the romantic view. After the balloon exploded, as planned, the payload parachuted back to Earth, landing in the Owen’s Valley beneath the towering Sierra Nevada mountains of central California.
Each glittering pendant comes with a greeting card showing the jewelry in flight and telling the story of its journey to the edge of space. Sales of this pendant support the Earth to Sky Calculus cosmic ray ballooning program and hands-on STEM research.