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Pupils’ plea for help after balloon launch goes wrong and lands in sea near Felixstowe

Pupils at Sandringham School in Hertfordshire prepare to launch the balloon for their computer science project. Picture: SANDRINGHAM SCHOOL

Pupils at Sandringham School in Hertfordshire prepare to launch the balloon for their computer science project. Picture: SANDRINGHAM SCHOOL

Archant

A balloon launched into space by a Hertfordshire secondary school has landed in the sea near Felixstowe.

The red payload box which teachers at a Hertfordshire school believe may have landed in the sea near Felixstowe. Picture: SANDRINGHAM SCHOOL The red payload box which teachers at a Hertfordshire school believe may have landed in the sea near Felixstowe. Picture: SANDRINGHAM SCHOOL

Dozens of pupils at Sandringham School in St Albans sent a high altitude balloon 30,631 metres up into the air for a science project at 10.38am yesterday and hoped it would land to the west of Colchester.

But the balloon burst much later than the students predicted – and parachuted into the sea around two miles off the coast of Felixstowe.

Inside it was a red payload box which contained Raspberry Pi computers, GPS trackers and cameras used to stream live images online.

Now students are appealing for dog walkers and passers-by to look out for the red payload box – which was still transmitting radio signals once it had landed in the sea – and contact the school if they find it.

Tidal conditions suggest it will drift ashore somewhere along the coast in the next few hours.

The school’s director of computer science Mark Allday said: “As a school we are keen to be reunited with our payload box, not because it contains anything of any value, but more to be kept as a keepsake in recognition of the extraordinary achievements of our students and staff.”

If you spot the box, call the school’s reception on 01727 799560 or email admin@sandringham.herts.sch.uk.

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