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TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – On a recent, sunny morning, two seniors at Tupelo Christian Prepatory School were going over a final checklist, before the launch of their weather balloon.

Dason Maloney and Evan Talton came up with the idea while surfing tv channels.

“Honestly we saw a commercial on tv and there was a couple of guys who did the same project basically and sent it space and so we were like we can do that, so the next day we decided that’s what we were going to do,” Talton said.

They conducted some research, then rounded up sponsors to help pay for the special balloon, data recording devices, cameras and even hand warmers to keep equipment from freezing in the stratosphere.

TCPS seventh graders played a big role in helping raise the 500 dollars needed for the project. So they were invited to the school football field, which served as the launch site.

The weather balloon ascended quickly, cameras on board snapped these photos. As the balloon reached its maximum altitude of 19 miles, the photos show spectacular sights, such as jet condensation trails and a slight curvature of the earth. The camera also documented the descent of the balloon , which ended up near Fulton.

The successful project was not for any class or grade.

“This was just for fun, just on the whim, just having fun,” Maloney said.

Yeah but you might inspire other youngsters to do something later on, right?

“Yeah, it was really , wasn’t easy but we got our sponsorships, took us like a month of research, lot of research and it really paid off cause it’s really a fun project,” he said.

Teachers and administrators here at TCPS say the project shows the initiative Dason and Evan demonstrate regularly. In fact, both young men have accepted scholarship offers from the University of Alabama, where they will continue making the grade.

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