Eason quoted in Journal Tribune report of Scarborough students’ high-altitude balloon launch

Journal Tribune reported on a high-altitude balloon launch by students at Scarborough Middle School. The project, which gave students the chance to learn about space and the atmosphere, was carried out in collaboration with the University of Maine’s High Altitude Ballooning (HAB) program. With funding from the Maine Space Grant Consortium, the program has worked with K–12 classes across the state since 2011, according to the article. Richard Eason, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and organizer of the HAB program, assisted with the launch. Every year he works with schools to have their own high-altitude experiment, the article states. “It will get up to 110,000 or 120,000 feet, going at about a thousand feet per minute,” Eason said on the day of the launch. “Then it will pop, and it will come down by parachute. It will be in the air for about two and a half hours.” He added that they sometimes go to great lengths to chase down a balloon. The maximum altitude of the Scarborough students’ balloon was 120,794 feet, and its flight time was 2 hours and 54 minutes. It also traveled 128 miles and reached a maximum speed of 114 miles per hour, Journal Tribune reported.