Paper planes dropped from space

By Catherine de Lange / NewScientist.com

Making a paper plane that flies for more than a few metres is hard enough. But now for the first time, a hundred paper planes have embarked on a journey back to Earth from the edge of space.

To be fair, the stunt – which is part of an advertising campaign by Samsung – does rely on help from a helium-filled weather balloon and the pull of gravity. Nonetheless, as advertising stunts go, it’s not a bad one – and it makes for some pretty incredible video footage (see video, above).

To get the best paper plane design, the team consulted Andy Chipling from the Paper Aircraft Association, and for the balloon design they talked to Robert Harrison of the Icarus project, which sends balloons to high altitudes.

The result was a weather balloon filled with helium which carried the paper plane payload into the sky. The idea behind the stunt was to prove how durable Samsung memory cards are, so each plane contained a card with a message for whoever might find it back on Earth.

Just who the lucky recipients will be, and when the planes will be found, remains to be seen.

source with video: http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/nstv/2011/02/paper-planes-dropped-from-space.html