A video uploaded to YouTube shows the unusual voyage of a Lego man sent into space on a spacecraft which was made by two Toronto students.
âWe didnât really believe we could do it until we did,â said one of the teens.
According to the Telegraph, it took a weather balloon ordered online and a makeshift Styrofoam spacecraft to send the plastic astronaut 15 miles into the stratosphere.
A few months ago, Mathew Ho shared his plan with his close friend Asad Muhammad. The boy were up to use a weather balloon to carry a camera high above the clouds.
The teens had heard about similar projects by students in the United States and Britain that had yielded amazing footage of near space.
âRight when we saw the videos, we were like: âThis is definitely plausible, we can pull this off, too, if we really put our minds to it,’â Ho said.
Muhammad was fond of aviation since his childhood, and more recently by the videos that got Ho thinking about their eventual project.
âThat really got me into space things,â Muhammad told reporters.
After the plan was carried out, the students from Agincourt Collegiate Institute get down to the details needed for putting their toy astronaut in space.
A few months had passed before they had designed a special capsule that would carry four cameras and their Lego man mascot above the clouds, says CBC News.
They bought cheap cameras in online shops, set a cellphone enabled with a GPS (global positioning system) device to capture the journey.
After that came the parachute to ensure that Lego man would return to Earth safely, which they decided to make themselves via Muhammad’s mother’s sewing machine.
âWe had no experience at all using sewing machines and, as you can see, the stitches they are not really good,â said Muhammad. âBut it was a pretty perfect parachute.â
The whole enterprise cost less than ÂŁ320 or $400. They made their Lego astronaut attached to a gangplank on the outside, and printed off a Canadian flag for him to hold, reveals The Sun.
And, finally, the boys inflated the balloon, let it go, and watched their Lego man lift off.
At seven kilometres, the GPS signal cut out so the students returned home.
âI was afraid that when it lands, it might land on the side and the Lego man would come off,â said one of the boys. âBut it was strong enough that it wouldnât come off in the air.â
However, a few minutes later, the toy touched down in a field nearly 70 miles from its launch point.
The next weekend, the teens drove to the place the device landed and quickly found the balloon and the Lego man in the brush.
Asad said: “We kind of started jumping, because there was no one around, so you could do that.”
Astrophysics professor Dr Michael Reid praised the boys, saying: “It shows a tremendous degree of resourcefulness. For two 17-year-olds to accomplish this on their own is pretty impressive.”