Only you can kick a child’s balls into space

We had a lot of fun with that title. Of course when you’re talking about launching a thousand ping pong balls into space there’s no end to the puns which can be made. But this is actually a fantastic initiative to get people of all ages excited about science and near-space experiments. [John Powell] offers school children the opportunity to send an experiment into space. He’s Kickstarting the next launch, which is scheduled to take place in September. This way each entrant can fly their project for free, then get the results and a certificate back once the weather-balloon-based hardware is recovered.

There is one size restriction for the program. Each experiment must fit inside of a ping pong ball. But you’ll be surprised what can be accomplished. [John] reports that the most simple, yet interesting project is to place a small marshmallow inside the ball. As it rises through the atmosphere it will grow to fill the entire ball, then be freeze-dried by the the extreme temperatures. Some are not so low-tech. There’s an image of a tiny PCB holding a DS1337 and some sensors. It’s an atmospheric data logger that will provide plenty of information to analyze upon its return.

[via Hacked Gadgets]


  1. attiatte says:

    Your title needs some work.

  2. demon` says:

    Where are you going to get 1000 superfit chinese ladies to launch these ping pong balls?

  3. Hackerspacer says:

    Err…. a high altitude balloon would be the upper atmosphere. But that’s hardly space.

  4. bzroom says:


  5. tekphobia says:

    I found a forum post for the pongsat with the DS1337:

  6. Destate9 says:

    YES! Nice title, Mike! Now that’s journalism!!!

  7. pinkertron says:

    I just laughed so hard.

  8. doronbc says:

    it would have been neat if they ended up selling kits so people could build their own near earth balloon experiment. we have seen so many of them, you would think the price is fairly reasonable.

  9. FabienT says:

    First, I must said that I am embittered because such project did not exist when I was at school :)

    But then I have one question : you remember those guys who sent a lego minifig at 80,000 feet for $400 including the camera/gps/3G ? There is also this $150 projects which reached 17.5miles (90.000 feet). If all the balls are filed with marshmallows, $9 per ball doesn’t seem expensive to you (for a donnation funded project) ? Of course if they are filled with lead…

  10. Jayson says:

    Us locos kick your ass.

    Us locos kick your face.

    Us locos kick your balls into OUTER SPACE!!!

    -Johnny 5-

  11. Anonymous says:

    There isnt’t a shape less volumetrically efficient than a sphere…

  12. LostTime says:

    I first thought the carpet from the photo was a periodic table.. But what has a lion to do with lithium?

  13. Eirinn says:

    Amazing title :3 reminds me of the “Dream Theater – Innocence Faded” misheard lyrics on youtube: “the child with balls of fire!”.

  14. demon` says:

    holy balls batman

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