Children send toy dog to edge of space for science project

Search and rescue mission has been launched across Lancashire and Yorkshire for a toy dog which was sent to the edge of space.

‘Sam the Dog’, the lucky mascot of English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, was launched into the atmosphere on Tuesday 5 April via a helium balloon with GPS tracking equipment and cameras.

The space launch from the Midland Hotel was part of an educational science project organised by Morecambe Bay Community Primary School and SentIntoSpace.

Sam the Dog reached an altitude of over 25 kilometres above the earth before his transport balloon popped and returned to earth.

The equipment landed around 48 miles to the south east in a field near Burnley, but Sam had become detached during re-entry.


English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues is offering a reward for the person who finds the mascot and can safely return him to the school children.

“Sam’s flight went beautifully, taking him to the edge of space and well past the Armstrong  limit of 19 kilometres above the earth,” explains Ben Berry from English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues.

“Space travel is a risky business and Sam’s freefall didn’t quite go as planned.  We are offering a reward for his safe return.

The person who finds Sam will be treated to a complimentary stay at the iconic art deco 4 star Midland Hotel.”

Chris Rose from Sheffield based adds:  “Our GPS tracking equipment and live telemetry systems quickly enabled us to find the payload when it returned to earth near Burnley, but when we got there Sam was nowhere to be seen.

“Our footage indicates that one of the helium balloon tethers got tangled with the mascot when it burst at peak altitude and the freefall part of the flight commenced.

We do not have any data on the aerodynamics of a toy dog or its terminal velocity, but we’re pretty sure Sam landed within a 40-50 mile radius of Burnley.

He could have landed in North Lancashire or as far afield as York, Sheffield, or the Peak District.”

Siobhan Collingwood from Morecambe Bay Community Primary School added: “The children created history with the space launch and would love to see Sam the Dog safely returned with tales to tell of his adventures.”



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