Move over, Mickey Mantle. The students of Earth to Sky Calculus have just set a new home run record.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Mantle hit a 565 foot blast on April 17, 1953. Eclipsing that mark, this Yankees ball launched by the students on Feb. 23, 2019, sailed 97 miles! The baseball traveled to the stratosphere onboard a cosmic ray balloon, alongside X-ray and gamma-ray sensors that the students use to study atmospheric radiation. After the balloon exploded over the Sierra Nevada mountains of central California, the payload parachuted back to Earth, landing in Death Valley National Park's Grapevine Mountains, more than 97 miles from the launch site. At the apex of the flight, the baseball was 35.4 km above the ground, experiencing temperatures as low as -62 C and air pressures only 0.2% of sea level. Now that's a homer!
Each baseball comes with a greeting card showing the ball in flight and telling the story of its journey to the stratosphere.