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In an exercise of science, physics, ingenuity and sovereignty, 11th and 12th grade science students from Cherokee High School in Cherokee, N.C., [launched] a space balloon [Friday, March 8], making the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians the first Native American tribe to launch a balloon into space.
Exemplifying the strength of the tribe’s thriving community, the high school students will take the tribe’s sovereignty to new heights as the balloon reaches an estimated height of 110,000 ft. As the balloon rises to near space (110,000 – 125,000 ft.), a GoPro camera will record video during what is expected to a two-hour journey before the balloon bursts. The balloon and camera descent will take about 30 minutes, and recovery will be accomplished using real-time GPS tracking. The tribe will use the video to create a record of the event.