A group of students from The University of Alabama is part of a nationwide NASA project to take video of the solar eclipse as it moves across the country Monday.
Similar to a weather balloon, the UA balloon should rise 100,000 feet in the air, high enough to see the curvature of the Earth, and send live video of the eclipse to a Web site as part of the NASA Space grant network’s Eclipse Ballooning Project.
With 55 balloon teams, the goal of the NASA project is to stream the eclipse over the internet as it travels southeast across the country.
Some members of the UA team have been working more than a year on the project. “We were just saying the other day it can get kind of intimidating sometimes, but when things start to come together, as the eclipse gets closer, it's very rewarding,” UA student Annelise Frank said.
“This is a once in a lifetime experience, we won't have another eclipse like this in our lifetime,” UA aerospace engineering student Haley Miller said.
The UA students will launch their balloon from Orangeburg, South Carolina.
The UA team’s balloon is different from that of other teams, because it includes a control moment gyroscope to steady the camera on the eclipse and shadow, to capture a steady image, even if the balloon spins.
The UA team is named Project Fenrir after a wolf in Norse mythology foretold to swallow the sun.
Team members include:
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