Last summer, teams of students, researchers and faculty from all over the country came to Montana State University — home to one of the country’s most active and respected balloon-launching programs — to learn about the eclipse project.
With the help of the Jardins and her colleagues at BOREALIS, teams designed and built their balloons and payloads, which were then shipped back to their respective colleges and universities.
As the sky is darkened by the eclipse, the stratosphere’s cold, thin air — with just the right amount of ultraviolet radiation — will resemble conditions on Mars.
In addition to the obvious thrill of such a research opportunity, many participating students see the project as a chance to learn skills useful to their future careers.
Collins, who became involved with the Montana State team through a summer research grant offering through the National Science Foundation, also wants to pursue a career in aeronautics.
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