Galway Community College students launch The Galway Girl space balloon tomorrow

A group of transition year students at Galway Community College will send their space balloon, The Galway Girl, into the upper atmosphere tomorrow.

The Galway Girl is a number of space-related projects undertaken by students at the college this year, under the supervision of science teacher Nicky Cavalleri, to commemorate the moon landing, which took place in 1969, the same year the college was opened.

The balloon will carry, among other things, a copy of Sharon Shannon’s hit ‘Galway Girl’ and the logos of the Galway Advertiser, Galway Bay FM, and Carambola Healthy School Lunches Delivered.

The craft, named the ‘The Galway Girl’, will carry a flight recorder to measure its speed and height, as well as the atmospheric temperature and wind speed. It will also play ‘Galway Girl’ on loop throughout its flight, estimated to last some two and a half hours, to observe what effect the thinning air in the upper reaches of the atmosphere will have on sound waves.

It will also feature a Carambola rice cracker, which will be recorded in space to see if the rice will pop as the air pressure decreases. Carambola is the main sponsor of the project, with support from Boston Scientific, the Galway Advertiser, and Galway Bay FM.

The balloon will also be fitted with a go-pro camera to record the flight in space. Leading traditional musician Sharon Shannon has provided her famous song to be played on a loop throughout the flight to determine at what altitude sound stops.

Weather permitting, the balloon will be launched at 10.30am tomorrow on the grounds of Galway Community College, with the device re-entering after about two hours. The students then hope to recover the balloon, using a tracking device attached to the polystyrene box, and collect camera footage and data recorded during the flight.

To follow the build-up to the launch and find out more about the project see


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