UMaine High Altitude Ballooning: Eclipse Mission
For the Aug. 21 2017 eclipse, a team of 18 University of Maine electrical and computer engineering students packed up their high-altitude balloons and headed to Clemson, South Carolina to participate in the first-ever NASA “Great American Eclipse” project.
The mission entailed students from 55 teams nationwide launching unpiloted high-altitude balloons to live stream aerial footage of the total solar eclipse from the edge of space to NASA’s website. UMaine’s balloons were among the last to go airborne after 1 p.m.
Clemson University was in the 70-mile-wide path of totality, so the UMaine team traveled there to collaborate and obtain the best view of the eclipse from the balloons. The university’s High Altitude Ballooning group is led by professor Rick Eason and engineering staff member Andy Sheaff.