London, Nov 11 (ANI): A British team designed paper plane has successfully flown to the edge of space before flying back to Earth, taking pictures as it descended.
The plane, which has a 3ft wing span and is made from paper straws covered in paper, travelled 17 miles into the atmosphere to capture images of the curvature of the globe using a miniature camera.
The craft was launched using nothing more powerful than a large helium balloon, which burst after climbing to 90,000ft, freeing the plane to glide back down, taking photographs as it descended.The cost for Operation PARIS (Paper Aircraft Released Into Space) is a modest 8,000 pounds.
Space enthusiasts Steve Daniels, John Oates and Lester Haines, had come up with the idea after they were inspired by a project last year to send a lump of cheese into space.
The team launched the balloon from a remote spot around 50 miles west of Madrid after gaining permission from the Spanish authorities, and tracked the plane using a GPS navigation system as it took another 90 minutes to glide back to Earth.
IT consultant Daniels, 42, of Paignton, Devon, said the team had embarked on the project 'for a laugh'. Although they spent around 8,000 pounds to make it a success, he said he would happily do it all again
"Somebody launched a bit of cheese out of a balloon, which we thought was a bit stupid. We thought we could do something more technical than that," the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
"We decided to launch a paper plane because nobody has done that before. It seems really silly but it was brilliant fun," he added. (ANI)