Baby Groot has been to the stratosphere.
On May 25th, the arboreal superhero hitched a ride on an Earth to Sky Calculus cosmic ray balloon. Riding alongside an array of X-ray/gamma-ray sensors, which the students use to monitor atmospheric radiation, he flew 115,762 feet above the stormy Sierra Nevada mountains of central California. As a space alien, Groot had no trouble withstanding the low temperatures (-63 C), vacuous air pressure (0.05% sea level) and intense radiation (100x Earth-normal) encountered during the 2.5 hour flight.
The students are selling these figurines to support their cosmic ray ballooning program. Groot's head is hollow, so it can be used to hold pens, tools, flowers or whatever. Each arboreal superhero comes with a greeting card showing Groot in flight and telling the story of his journey to the stratosphere and back again.
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