NASA has sent a rather unusual test subject into space - a rubber chicken, complete with its own NASA-branded jumper and a helmet.
Named Camilla, the rubber chicken who is NASA's official mascot, was sent into the deepest depths of space in a bid to test the area's radiation levels. At one point, she reached 40 kilometres altitude; a feat for most humans, never mind rubber animals.
She was accompanied on her mission by cameras, GPS trackers and a cryogenic thermometer - which were all transported by a 'modified lunch box', Mirror.co.uk revealed. She also took with her 12 sunflower seeds and seven insects. These were sent so scientists could test their response to space.
Although backed by NASA, the project was actually aided by school pupils from California's Bishop Union High - who helped out during Camilla's launch. One of the pupils, Sam Johnson, provided an explanation of the venture. The 16-year-old said: "We equipped Camilla with sensors to measure the radiation.
"At the apex of our flight, the payload was above 99 per cent of Earth's atmosphere," he added, cited by Cnet.com. He wasn't the only pupil to speak out about the project, as 17-year-old Rachel Molina also called it a "reconnaissance" mission.
Camilla is now safely back on earth, after spending two-and-a-half hours completing her mission. She landed safely in the Inyo Mountains and nothing has yet been confirmed with regards to her next potential adventure.
Author: Deborah Bates
Date: 30th April 2012