Casper College's NASA Balloon Launch





Casper, Wyoming - Casper College went prime time this morning in a joint project with NASA launching a weather balloon hooked to a camera to photograph the eclipse. The balloons also equipped with a series of sensors to chart wind conditions and altitude.


One reason for Caspers popularity was its altitude which makes for good visibility. But students from Casper College  managed to get a peak of the astronomical main event from the edge of space.


Casper College, one of the 55 teams across the line of totality working with NASA, launched their balloon along with their hard work into space.


“This is what we've been working for. To actually send up our payload and see it from space. It's all coming together and t’s just terrific,” said Megan Graham, Professor Of Robotics  at Casper College.


After what seemed like an eternity of planning and dry runs, the balloon brought the cowboys to the stratosphere.


“I think we're streaming at the moment, manually. So as far as we're concerned, once the eclipse happens we're going to be happy,” Atmospheric Science Major at University Of Wyoming, Phil Bergmaier.


The launch, like a gravel road, had its bumps but perseverance kept the project on track.


“Right now I’m trying to manually point this dish to catch that balloon,” said Tyler Banning  a Computer Science Major at Casper College. “I have to figure out where it is because our tracking system went down right as we launched it.”


“As a scientist you learn to kinda deal with hiccups and just kinda move on and make the best out of them,” said Bergmaier. “It doesn't always go your way but make the best out of it and enjoy the ride today. That's all you can do at this point.”


Once totality hit, quick cheers then whispers of total awe. The eclipse, at its peak of darkness, gave Casper a 360 degree sunset of vibrant pinks and oranges. After totality, ecstatically speechless.


“I feel like a little kind in a sandbox. It only lasted 2 minutes and you're always going to have this memory in the back of your mind. 'Yeah I was there. I saw that. That was cool.’ I can't even think of what to say at this point,” said Casper College graduate Tucker Even.