Third and fourth graders were studying science, studying space. So I got a little carried away, and I said, "Well, would you like to go?" And they were really thrilled. And I go, "We can't actually send you, but we can send a balloon, a payload to near space." So there's a balloon that starts out on this end. It won't fit in the barn here. It's so big. We fill it up with helium. Connected to the balloon is a parachute. So when the balloon pops, when it gets to 100,000 feet, that's 3 or 4 times higher than commercial aircraft fly, it's dark 24/7. You can see the curvature of the earth. It's dark all day and all night because there's no atmosphere to scatter and make the sky blue. You can see the curvature of the earth. There is a computer transmitter and a GPS on the balloon. The balloon transmits the signal to the amateur position recording system. Amateur ham radio operators repeat that all over the country. It goes on the Internet, and you can see the position of the balloon. About seven seconds after it sends a transmission, you can see it on Google Earth. This is a radar reflector so that if there's any aircraft flying by, their radar will reflect off of this and they will see it. But this is just the first step. Our goal is . . . about four years ago some Indian researchers sent up a payload. It had six small sample vials on it that were evacuated and cryogenically cooled. They opened them at different altitudes. The six samples, the total volume less than a bottle of water, they found three new bacteria that had never been discovered. Think about this. These bacteria are living at -40 degrees, in almost complete vacuum, being irradiated by UV sterilizing radiation. How do they live up there? So I'm thinking if they collected that much sample and got three new bacteria, I want to collect a huge sample so we've got hundreds of new bacteria. If you collect this much in the entire stratosphere and you got three bacteria that nobody had ever seen before, if we go to 100,000 feet, I want to make an electrostatic collector. Every charged particle, every particle that goes through, excluding bacteria and aerosols with bacteria on them, get charged and collected. If that's one 1 foot and I go to 100,000 feet, I'll have 100,000 cubic feet of sample compared to this. We're guaranteed to find bacteria that nobody has ever seen before. I'm going to name a bacteria. According to the rules, that's like immortality. They can't change it. If you go to Facebook.com/albercookscientific, we're posting the launch status. We were planning on launching tomorrow, but you have the right high altitude winds. Otherwise it blows it over into Lake Erie. It will go 200 miles if you can hit the jet stream. You also have to have the right visibility, and like NASA, we have to make sure we have no technical problems. We're making updates there, and you'll be able to track it in real time on Google Earth as the balloon launches.
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