Quite The Project
They were quite ambitious, what they had set out to do was something that hadn’t been done before. Everything had to work out perfectly for their plan to succeed.
It took a lot of money, planning, and specialty to achieve what they had so far. Now they just had to pray that it would work out. It would be a nerve-racking moment when they went to see if the hamster had made it.
An Ambitious Company
Iwatani Giken is the ambitious company in question. They were interested in everything to do with space flight.
When it came to fluid dynamics and industrial gases, the company had over thirty different patents in the field. They weren’t like other companies, they aimed to achieve great things.
The company had a lot of Japanese integrity, so it was important that its plans succeeded. Every impossible dream was still just something to be achieved in their eyes.
Japan is one of the most forward-thinking countries on the planet when it comes to technology. They are always the pioneers of any new tech that comes out. The Iwatani corporation aimed to keep that trend.
Space travel may have been achieved more than five decades ago, but improving that concept isn’t an easy one. The costs for campaigns into space are ridiculously expensive. These missions also have major risks involved.
But Iwatani Giken wasn’t even the slightest bit fazed. They wanted to achieve something that before now was impossible. But would they be able to achieve it?
When most people think of astronauts and space travel, they think of heavy rockets and cutting-edge spacecraft. But at Iwatani Giken, they had a different approach.
Their preferred method of getting into space was a bit more rudimentary than fancy spacecraft. Instead of expensive rockets, they used specialized hot air balloons.
The company’s vision is for the general public to one day be able to go into space. But that’s a far cry from where they are now. But to even hope of that long-term goal, they need to test their design.
They decided that their specialized astronaut should be on the small side, just to make sure they can do it safely. And that astronaut is in fact a hamster!
A Lot Of Controversy
Most people would cry out in anger if they heard that a hamster was getting tied to a hot air balloon and sent into the atmosphere. But at Iwatani, they are anything but reckless.
They built the test around the hamster, the question isn’t if they can get a balloon into space. The question is rather can they launch a balloon into space while protecting the passenger?
An Intelligent Solution
The balloon was going to achieve staggering heights while the hamster was in it. So they needed to figure out a brilliant way of protecting the hamster.
They decided the best solution was to place the hamster in an airtight space. They would make sure the space had the same temperature and pressure as on the ground.
Their concept was brilliant. Regulating the temperature and atmosphere wouldn’t be easy, but they found a way to do it. They launched the balloon from the Miyakojima region of Japan.
The hamster began its mission and shot up in the balloon faster than six feet per second. Soon the balloon was out of sight in the sky somewhere. But how did the hamster fare?
After reaching heights that most planes dared ascend to, the balloon continued on. The balloon was not capable of reaching any real depths of out space.
However, the initial launch was pass 40000 feet soon enough and still climbing rapidly. So, how was the hamster fairing by this point?
To Boldly Go
Incredibly, the balloon continued further until it reached incredible heights. By the time it was pass the 40000 feet mark, an astounding picture showed the hamster sitting calmly as the world below grew ever smaller.
By the end of its ascend, the hamster balloon reached an epic height of over 73000 feet. This meant the hamster had set a new record.
By reaching such an extraordinary height, the little rodent became the first hamster to be launched into the stratosphere. More incredibly, it got there in a hot air balloon.
Now that the first part of this daring mission was a success, a more difficult challenge lay ahead. The question now turned to whether it be brought back safely?
The cabin of the balloon was roughly only 20 by 23 inches in width and height respectively. Nevertheless, the Iwatani team were able to bring the balloon safely back to Earth.
Landing in the sea off the island of Miyako, a tense moment likely ensued. It was time to see if the hamster had survived.
Not only was the hamster safe and sound, it was found to be in good health too. The incredible trip was deemed a resounding success.
Now that this phase of testing was complete, the team could turn their attention to the next stages of their mission.
To The Future
Further trips of the sort are planned and will attempt to reach heights of up to 15 miles. At these points, passengers would be able to see the curvature of the Earth. If Iwatani is successful in their plans, soon these kinds of rides into the stratosphere could become a reality for humans too.
While the prospect is certainly exciting, there is still a lot of work to be done. When these ambitious trips are finally achieved, one hopes that mankind remembers to thank the special hamsternaut for helping to make them possible.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.