Hamburger launched into space on solo trip

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STURBRIDGE, Mass. — A hamburger recently took a giant leap for fast food everywhere by being launched into space by a group of Harvard students.

The five students dubbed the mission "Operation Skyfall" after the recently released James Bond movie and posted a video to YouTube of the hamburger's journey through trees, clouds and above Earth's curve.

Renzo Lucioni, one of the students who worked on the project, told the Boston Globe he had wanted to send an object into space ever since seeing MIT students do it in 2009. The hamburger was the result of looking for sponsors during a global helium shortage: b.good, a local burger chain, stepped up to the plate.

"They seemed to be a fun company, so we thought they might be down for doing something like this," Lucioni said.

It took the students two weekends to put the project together, which included a GoPro Hero camera, an HTC Rezound Phone and a 600-gram weather balloon, according to ABC News. The group varnished the burger and superglued its layers together before screwing it to the pedestal.

The burger, launched on Oct. 27, took two hours to ascend to an altitude of 19 miles and an hour to fall back to Earth, where it landed in a tree about 130 miles north of where it had been launched.

After trying to shoot it out of the tree with a bow and arrow, they finally hired a professional tree climber to retrieve the box, but the hamburger was gone. The team believes it was eaten by a squirrel. The camera aboard the balloon had gone dead by the time it landed, so could do nothing to help solve the mystery, according to UPI.

Lucioni said the students already have funds for another mission — possibly involving a burrito — and want to involve a local high school in their next effort.


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Stephanie Grimes


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