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Father and son launch balloon into space

Barry and Cameron Fraser
Barry and Cameron Fraser

A father and son from Inverness have sent a weather balloon into space, capturing breathtaking footage of the Highlands.

Barry Fraser and his eldest son Cameron designed and built the inflatable to carry a special payload up to 100,000ft.

The balloon carried an array of measurement devices and software, two global positioning systems and two digital cameras and two high-resolution video cameras.

The device rose to 100,000ft in just 108 minutes, with the helium-filled balloon expanding and bursting,

The technical equipment floated back to Earth on a parachute, landing in dense forests west of Brora.

The pair were delighted with the success of the project, which had financial backing from the Inverness-based Orion Group.

Now the device and its technology will be donated to the science department at Charleston Academy, where Cameron will become a pupil after the summer holidays.

Mr Fraser said: “Cameron and I cannot thank Orion Group enough for their financial support, as it enabled us to film the curvature of earth from the edge of space. All the time spent planning the mission, pouring over different prototypes and researching the construction of the payload and balloon was more than worth it.”

Alan Savage, chairman of Orion Group, said: “With 44 offices around the world covering all six continents, it made sense to see if we could take things one step further by heading into space with this very unique but fun challenge.

“Locally, we have Kinloss airbase in Moray as a strong contender to becoming the UK’s first space port; you never know, in the future we might be asked to find engineers working on space travel projects so we thought it would be exciting to get involved.”

He added: “I believe we are also the first recruitment agency in the world to launch into the stratosphere, an accolade the team are very proud of.”

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