Engineers put an action figure in space and here’s how

Step aside, Felix Baumgartner.


Alex La Ferla


Posted on Nov 25, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 3:21 am CDT

Engineers and designers at DesignSpark have teamed up with Mattel to send a Superman action figure into the stratosphere, and now you can too. Designers of the rig have posted the specs to their blog along with instructions and a video of the original journey of the toy Superman to 29,000 meters and back:

The launch was inspired by Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking free-fall from 39 km last year, a record that was subsequently surpassed in October by Alan Eustace, who jumped from 41 km. In a quick side note, Eustace is also senior vice president of Knowledge at Google (easily the greatest job title ever).

DesignSpark’s final rig included a GPS chip, altimeter, and radiotransmiter controlled by an on-board Raspberry Pi computer all lifted into near space by a weather balloon filled with hydrogen gas. Now that the plans are available online, we look forward to seeing others give this stunt a chance, just make sure to clear your launch with local air traffic control and please, for the love of God, don’t substitute an actual human for the Superman action figure. 

H/T DesignSpark Screengrab via DesignSpark/YouTube

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*First Published: Nov 25, 2014, 3:30 pm CST