Student sends MIT letter to space

A 17 year old MIT hopeful did something creative with her acceptance letter - launched it in to space.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

17 year-old Erin King, recently accepted into Massachusetts Institute of Technology, launched her MIT admissions letter 91,000 feet in to space and recorded its journey.

As part of the "Hack the Tubes" project ran by MIT Admissions, soon-to-be students are asked to think of creative things to do with their admissions letters -- which are delivered in a cardboard tube to hopeful candidates.

King used two GPS ham radio transmitters (APRS), a helium-filled weather balloon, and a GoPro Hero camera as part of her 'Amateur Radio High-Altitude Ballooning project', as well as making custom antennas for the radios. The camera mounted to the tube -- 'TubeCam' -- managed to take 960p HD footage to track the journey.

The tube was loaded and launched in Georgia on January 16. The flight lasted approximately 2 hours and managed to attain an altitude of 91,000 feet. The tube landed more than 75 miles away near Cordele, in a small patch of trees surrounded by a cotton field.

The "Hack The Tubes" project has received a number of entries, from digital art to creating stilt shoes, although King's is known as the best entry. Chris Peterson, the institute's counselor for web communications, told website Boing Boing that as 2012 was the anniversary of an old MIT balloon hack, the team "put a letter in all of the Early Action admit tubes telling them we wanted them to hack the tubes somehow."

King will be joining the MIT class of 2016.

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