Orion Group has backed an Inverness-based father and son duo on a successful mission to get a weather balloon into space. Visit www.orioninspace.com for all our space pictures and videos!
Barry Fraser and his eldest son, Cameron, approached Orion Group looking to secure financial backing to send a weather balloon and ‘payload’ into orbit which the pair had meticulously planned and designed over many months.
Sponsored by Orion Group, the payload housed all of the technology: numerous measurement devices and software, two global positioning systems, two digital stills cameras and two high-resolution video cameras. An image taken from the craft won second prise in an the International Balloon Challenge.
These cameras captured breath-taking video footage and imagery as the craft ascended into the sky.
The balloon, which was launched in April, made its way back to earth in one piece thanks to its on-board GPS tracker, and was collected in dense forests west of Brora.
The device rose to an altitude of 100,000ft in just 108 minutes. When it reached the necessary height, the helium filled balloon expanded and burst, with the technical equipment safely returning to earth via a parachute.
Barry Fraser, said: “Cameron and I cannot thank Orion Group enough for their financial support, as it enabled us to film the curvature of earth from the edge of space. All the time spent planning the mission, pouring over different prototypes and researching the construction of the payload and balloon was more than worth it,” said Barry.
Alan Savage, Chairman, Orion Group, said: “With 44 offices around the world covering all 6 continents, it made sense to see if we could take things one step further by heading into space with this very unique but fun challenge.”
“Locally, we have Kinloss airbase in Moray as a strong contender to becoming the UK’s first space port; you never know, in the future we might be asked to find engineers working on space travel projects so we thought it would be exciting to get involved.”
Alan added, “I believe we are also the first recruitment agency in the world to launch into the stratosphere, an accolade the team are very proud of.”
Now grounded, the custom-built payload box and the technology within it will be donated by Orion Group to the science department at Charleston Academy, the school which Cameron will attend after this year’s summer holidays.