North Medford H.S. students launch NASA balloon for solar eclipse project

Medford, Ore. — A group of North Medford High schoolers are helping out NASA — so you can watch the august solar eclipse from home.

10 students along with a few teachers and mentors tried to break an altitude record Sunday by launching a balloon 100-thousand feet into the air.

They are one of 54 teams spread across the United States testing balloons with video cameras at high altitudes in order to film the solar eclipse and broadcast it on live NASA television.

“It’s a first for the United States to do this. We’ve never had an eclipse view from 80 to 100 thousand feet that will be live broadcast from TV. So this is something that these high school students should be very proud of,” astro photographer John Bunyan said.

On Sunday, the North Medford high team tried to photograph Mount McLoughlin, Crater Lake and the curvature of earth with the blackness of space.

The balloon was expected to travel 70 miles.

The group recovered it near Crater Lake around two and a half hours later.

NBC5 News Multimedia Journalist Elizabeth Ruiz was raised in Northern Colorado. She graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Journalism and Media Communication. She also minored in Spanish and studied in Spain. While at Colorado State, she was an anchor and reporter for CTV Channel 11.

Elizabeth loves Zumba dancing, singing and spending time with her family.

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