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Table Tennis Balls in Space

By Andrew Horn | May 18, 2012, 9 a.m. (ET)

USA Table Tennis donated balls to Captain Jeff Smith of the National Space Society and over 1000 elementary and middle school students from Colorado Springs. The students used the Table Tennis Balls to create Table Tennis Ball Satellites or PongSats that they filled with all sorts of experiments like plants, seeds, M&Ms, Marshmallows, etc to see how their experiment would react in the near space environment. To get there the PongSats were launched on a high altitude weather balloon. The weather balloon was constructed and launched by JP Aerospace and reached an altitude of 102,000 feet. For most of the students it was their first, and hopefully not their last, opportunity to be a part of space. 

Additional photos of PongSats.

The Weather Balloon taking off