Shedding Some Light on the KY Eclipse Team

Shedding Some Light on the KY Eclipse Team

You probably know about the amazing solar eclipse happening on August 21st, but did you know that UK College of Engineering is partnering with NASA to livestream the event from space? The Kentucky Eclipse Team is one of about 60 groups across the nation bringing one-of-a-kind 360° footage of the eclipse to the public - and even performing research for NASA’s upcoming mission to Mars.

Here’s how it works: We launch high-altitude helium balloons carrying GoPros and more cameras. Photos and videos of the eclipse get recorded and broadcast to our Ground Station and livestreamed along with all the other teams on NASA’s website. At the edge of space, the balloons burst, and we track them to their landing site to recover them.

Our team has been preparing for the eclipse for 3 years, designing payloads, programming equipment, and running test launches. During the eclipse launch, we’ll also being helping NASA with biological research for the Orion mission to Mars. Because Earth’s upper atmosphere is similar to the atmosphere of Mars, a bacteria sample on one of our payloads will be exposed to the upper atmosphere to determine if any microbes could survive in the Martian atmosphere.

Check out our website at You can also get a look at our team on YouTube here, and check out this video to see what it’s like when our balloon hits the edge of space. And on the day of the eclipse, be sure to go to to see our project in action!


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