In light of the excitement surrounding the recent Mars curiosity Rover landing, we had a couple of makeshift "astronauts" launch into space right here in our own backyard.
This "Do It Yourself" space exploration took place at Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, where Erich Roeder and Richard Garcia took it upon themselves to go to "infinity and beyond."
Earlier this summer they launched a weather balloon with pictures of themselves attached. The goal was to launch into near-space, and that's exactly what they did. 107,000 feet later they ending up beyond the stratosphere, capturing the entire flight up and back on a Go-pro video camera.
You and see the raw footage from the results here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_JTXEDH168  (flight video)
All the supplies only amounted to only $500 and they were up up and away, which was way cheaper than actually launching themselves into space—much cheaper.
They plan on launching more "DIY" space balloons from Tyler again and Garcia and Roeder hope to inspire children, teens, young adults, students and families to think of creative scientific ideas themselves and make them come to life, just like they did.
Roeder says, "It takes a lot of work to come up with the calculations, factor in the wind and altitude levels, it's a science project, like we did when we were kids, now we are in our 40's and still living our childhood dream of being astronauts."