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SLHS students recovered high-altitude balloon in Vermont last year

From left, Saranac Lake High School students Sean Sanford, Alex Purner, Steven Poulsen, Iyleeh Rose (standing) and Tyler Newby pose a year ago near Middlebury, Vermont, with the payload of a high-atmosphere weather balloon they had launched from their own school on Jan. 30 2020. (Photo provided by Chris Gosling, Saranac Lake High School)

SARANAC LAKE — It’s been more than a year since the engineering class at Saranac Lake High School launched a high-altitude balloon from the campus on Jan. 30, 2020.

The payload, designed to collect atmospheric data and imagery while broadcasting its location via radio, reached an altitude of 60,300 feet before the balloon popped. The parachute then deployed, and the balloon landed in a wooded area outside Middlebury, Vermont, where it was successfully recovered shortly afterward by students Tyler Newby, Steven Poulsen, Alex Purner, Iyleeh Rose and Sean Sanford.

This recovery provided special satisfaction to the team since a year before, the high school engineering class had not been able to find the balloon.

This project was supported locally by Richard Brandt from the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at Whiteface Mountain and Steve Langdon of Borealis Consulting in Saranac Lake.

Lake Champlain is seen on Jan. 30, 2020, from a high-altitude balloon launched from Saranac Lake High School. (Photo provided by Chris Gosling, Saranac Lake High School)

(Editor’s note: This news item was supposed to appear in the Enterprise a year ago but for some reason did not.)

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