Balloons for Stephen Hawking’s 75th birthday

Near-space balloon for Stephen Hawking
Party balloons and a spacey view: Not a bad way to mark Stephen Hawking’s birthday. (NEAR via YouTube)

Famed British physicist Stephen Hawking has long wanted to go into space, so what better way to celebrate his 75th birthday than sending him a greeting from near-space?

The greeting comes courtesy of a stratospheric balloon experiment, executed at the Idaho-Oregon border by an Boise-based amateur science group called Near Space Education and Research, or NEAR.

The balloon-borne platform was festooned with a “Happy Birthday, Stephen Hawking,” plus a couple of party balloons for the occasion.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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