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An Email

When we received an email from Dr Rui at Queen Mary’s Grammar School telling us about the Near Space Project his school is undertaking, we decided to take a closer look. 

About Project Horizon

In February 2012, Project Horizon was started with the intent of developing a reusable launch platform that could make regular trips 30-40km above the earths surface into the Stratosphere. Once in the Stratosphere the probe would carry out scientific experiments, take film and pictures and come back down to earth for the pupils to analyse the results etc.

The project was designed to provide the pupils with more focused exposure to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and inspire the students into taking an early interest in the UK Space industry.

The 2015 Mission

This years task is called “Sun Chaser” and it’s mission is to capture footage of the sun’s rise over the horizon of the Earth from the vantage point of the Stratosphere.

We thought this would be easy enough until we read that the students will be building mathematical models in order to predict the time of sunrise from altitude!!

The Launch

Launching in the early hours of the morning and deep into the Welsh countryside to help minimise light pollution the team will have two attempts at launching. This means that two probes will have to be developed and prepared for launch.

  • The first probe launches on Saturday 27th June with a reserve launch date of Saturday 4th July.
  • The second probe launches on Sunday 28th June with a reserve launch date of Sunday 5th July.


As part of the project the pupils of QMGS will be trialling an outreach programme to local primary schools to teach three science lessons based on ‘the Earth and the Sun’, ‘Our Solar System’ and ‘Horizon – Our atmosphere’.

It is hoped that these outreach programmes will become a regular event aimed at inspiring primary aged pupils to take more of an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

To find out more about this project you can visit the schools project Horizon website here.

Watch the schools trailer below and we look forward to showing you their film on this blog soon.

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