Students from US University build and launch a cosmic radiation detector into space

August 12th, 2008 - 4:51 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, August 12 (ANI): Students from OSUs (Oklahoma State Universitys) Radiation Physics Laboratory have built and successfully launched a cosmic radiation detector that has reached the edge of outer space.

Carried by a helium-filled balloon 12 inches in diameter, the detector flew for more than two hours and reached 104,000 feet in altitude.

The device recorded radiation levels at the varying altitudes information that will be used by NASA to develop instrumentation for space flight.

This is really amazing. Our detector actually flew to the edge of outer space and then back to ground, and the whole time it worked perfectly, said Carl Johnson, a physics graduate student who designed and constructed the device.

In addition to the radiation sensor, the balloon carried a high-resolution camera, sensors for temperature, pressure and humidity, and a GPS module to determine altitude and geographic position.

The balloon and instrumentation launched from the Stillwater campus and landed about 10 miles away in Perry.

OSU engineering graduate and undergraduate students Joe Conner, Xander Buck and Ryan Paul conducted the launch.

According to Dr. Eric Benton of the OSU physics department, The best part about the project is that the detector was built from everyday materials and launched into near space from right here in our own backyard.

This proves you can accomplish really amazing things with simple materials, he added.

The detector serves as a prototype for radiation detectors that will be included in the Near Space Standard Science Platform, a program used by science students at high schools and colleges around the US conducting research on high-altitude balloons. (ANI)

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