A group of California high school students have launched a rubber chicken more than 36km into the earth's atmosphere to test radiation levels following last month's spectacular solar storm.
The students from Bishop Union High School sent the rubber fowl, named Camilla, into the sky on March 3, before the storm, and again on March 10 while the storm was in progress, Hufington Post
The unlikely explorer was taken to the edge of space by a helium balloon carrying the chicken and its spacecraft — a modified lunchbox fitted with four cameras, two GPS trackers and a cryogenic thermometer.
Camilla wore a purpose-built spacesuit with two radiation badges for the two-and-a-half-hour journey that ended when the balloon popped and the chicken plunged back to Earth.
A member of the team that launched the fowl into space, Rachael Molina, 17, said these flights are only the first in a series of experiments.
"Later this year, we plan to launch a species of microbes to find out if they can live at the edge of space," Rachael told NASA Science News.
After the experiment Camilla was recovered in one piece from a landing site in California's Inyo Mountains.