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Flag-waving Lego Canuck soars to 80,000ft

Canadian teens stake claim on upper atmosphere

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

A couple of Canadian teenagers have staked their country's claim on the upper atmosphere by sending a flag-waving Legonaut to 80,000ft (24,384m).

Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad, both 17, spent 400 Canadian bucks putting together their high altitude package: three stills cameras, one video camera and a GPS-enabled mobile phone stuffed in a styrofoam box under a helium-filled meteorological balloon.

Their mission launched from Newmarket, Ontario, and the payload eventually descended to Earth under a homemade parachute some 122km from the start point.

Ho said of the footage of their intrepid figurine: "We never knew it would be this good."

The pair say they were inspired by MIT's Project Icarus, although the idea of sending small people into space has more than a touch of PARIS about it.

Nonetheless, it's a good effort by our Canadian cousins. University of Toronto astrophysics professor Michael Reid said of the achievement: "It shows a tremendous degree of resourcefulness. For two 17-year-olds to accomplish this on their own is pretty impressive." ®

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