Launching Mini Jon Spooner

When Actor Jon Spooner came to the NASA Space Apps Challenge at the UK Met Office, he said he wanted to hack his way into space. We just had to try to make it happen...

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  1. Space Apps Weekend, 21st-22nd April 2012

    Jon spent his weekend at the Met Office talking to amazing people around the the world who know all sorts of things about space travel.   Full story here.  Meanwhile, in the Met Office building, another group of amazing people were thinking about how to launch him for real.

    Now, like Met services around the world, the Met Office regularly launches weather balloons which go really very high.  They take measurements up to around 30,000m (100,000 feet) where the pressure is one hundredth of the pressure at the surface.  So if we attached Jon to one of these, he'd get very close to space.  Unfortunately we didn't have a (real) space suit so he wouldn't survive the trip.  Also, the balloon wouldn't take his weight.  How could we make Jon smaller and less vulnerable?

    The WeLoveData team had a 3D printer brought by Dougie Kinnear for the weekend.
  2. They used it to print the very cool space duck....
  3. ... and they printed a pollen ball, which in the future could become a product to warn allergy sufferers that the pollen count will be high.
  4. They also printed spaceman Jon.  Jon is now small and light enough to attach to a weather balloon.  First printed in white:
  5. Then in colour:
  6. The likeness is incredible!
  7. Finally, they printed a bracelet that will flash if Jon trends on twitter!
  8. Jon thoroughly enjoyed his weekend, and thanked the teams involved from his "space station".
  9. To be continued...

    Mini Jon has not yet been launched.  We hope it will happen in May.
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