Usually when students are accepted into college, they jump up and down, squeal a bit and update their Facebook status to something like, “Oh em gee, guyz! I just got into my dream school!” (Alright, maybe that’s just what I did. Substituting “s” for “z” was super cool back then.) Soon-to-be MIT freshman Erin King took a different approach, however. She took her admissions letter and then rocketed it into space.
For the last several years, MIT’s been sending their admitted students acceptance letters in tubes, according to Chris Peterson, the Institute’s counselor for web communications. Peterson wrote into the website Boing Boing, saying that because 2012 is the anniversary of an old MIT balloon hack, the team put “a letter in all of the Early Action admit tubes telling them we wanted them to hack the tubes somehow.” The admissions team created a blog, Hack the Tubes 2012, to collect the responses, but it was King’s who Peterson called “the best.”
Working alongside her father, Kings launched the tube into space on January 16th around 1 p.m. from Lumpkin, Georgia. The entire flight, from launch to landing, lasted nearly two hours, and Kings said the maximum altitude was approximately 91,000 feet. Using GPS-equipped ham radio transmitters, King was able to track the tube from the ground, which helped her later find the tube after it landed south of Cordele, Georgia, nearly 80 miles away.
You can see King’s project below, but I need to give this girl major props. Not only did she get into MIT, but she’s 16 years old. Sixteen and a member of the class of 2016? Amazing. Check out her work, and then take a look at some of the other “Hack the Tube” projects.