Pool Academy mascot boldly goes where no bear has gone before.

Pool Academy’s mascot Buzz the Bear has boldly gone where no Pool Academy bear has gone before after being launched into the edge of space.

The bear was strapped onto a helium weather balloon and sent 20 miles up into space on Friday (MAY 12) to capture images of the school and its surroundings.

The space mission, called Project Infinity, was watched by about 100 students and members of staff when the countdown began at morning break. Despite the cloudy and windy weather conditions the launch was a success and a box containing Buzz and a camera floated away up into the sky.

The camera took photographs every minute capturing spectacular views from its position in the sky. Buzz was then tracked by GPS so he could be picked up from wherever he landed.

Phil Jones, from Pool Academy, said: “Buzz was launched successfully and headed to space. 

“We tracked him at the edge of space as the balloon burst and parachute deployed.

“Unfortunately some gusts at lower altitudes took him at the last minute out to sea off Boscastle.”

The bear and the technical equipment landed in the ocean and floated up country until it was washed up on the beach in Bude.

Mr Jones said: “Buzz was found on Bude Beach on Saturday morning by a lady with her metal detector. “We never expected to get it back.”

Although Buzz spent some time in the sea many photographs and videos taken during its journey have been salvaged.

The recent launch was the result of two years of hard work, trials and experiments led by Year 10 student Alfie Baker. He took on the project during his morning and lunch breaks.
Phil said the project would never have got this far if it wasn’t for the enthusiasm of Alfie.

Alfie, who would like to work in engineering in the future, said: “I have been working on the project for two years. 

“I hoped it was going to land on land but it didn’t. I didn’t think I would get it back when it landed in the sea so it is nice to get it back again.

“I was elated when we got it back.

“When we sent it up it was windy and cloudy, I hope to do it again to get better photographs next time.”

Buzz the bear experienced a bumpy ride on his mission but only sustained a minor injury to one of his leg seams. It’s hoped he will be ready again for his next mission, Project Infinity 2, planned to take place in the future.