We are T-minus four days away from liftoff of a new space initiative in Kentucky.
On Monday, July 14th, "Kentucky Space" will launch a high-altitude balloon mission at the Bowling Green-Warren Regional Airport.
The mission balloon and its payload, designed and built by college and university students from around the state, including Western Kentucky University, is expected to reach an altitude of 100,000 feet and will conduct upper atmospheric experiments and research.
The director for the Kentucky Space Grant Consortium says the project makes Kentucky a national leader for this kind of program.
"We are the first state to have brought students together and universities, businesses and entities together to do this kind of state launch," explained Karen Hackney, director for the Kentucky Space Grant Consortium.
But for Hackney, this will also be a more personal mission as "Balloon-1" will launch in memory of her late husband Richard, former director of the consortium.
"He was such a firm believer in doing these things and bringing the students of Kentucky to projects to a level where they could get this kind of experience," Hackney added.
Work to prepare the balloon for liftoff begins Monday morning at 9:30 am, with launch set for 11am.
The launch of "Balloon-1" will take place at the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport and the public is invited to attend.