NASA Launches Balloons Laced With Bacteria Into The Sky During Solar Eclipse

While most people were busy staring in awe at the total eclipse on Monday, NASA scientists were busy executing a…bizarre nationwide experiment.

Under the eerie black hole appearing in the daytime, high school and middle school children around the country were instructed by the space agency to release balloons into the sky attached to metal shards with dried bacteria on them. (scroll down for video)

Yes…dried bacterial forms sent upwards during the incredibly unusual and statistically improbable total solar eclipse when the moon almost perfectly covers the sun like 2 same-sized coins stacked on each other—despite the sun being 400 times bigger than the moon.

According to The Verge:

“The balloons are being sent up by teams of high school and college students from across the US as part of the Eclipse Ballooning Project, led by Angela Des Jardins of Montana State University.

“Last week, Smith finished mailing the bacteria — which are not dangerous for people or the environment — to the student groups. (Only 34 of the balloons will carry the bacteria.)

“The microorganisms are dried onto the surface of two metal cards the size of a dog tag.

“One card will fly to the stratosphere, while one will remain on the ground to function as a control group. On eclipse day, the balloons will launch every 15 minutes or so from states that are in the path of the Moon’s shadow, Des Jardins says.

“They’ll fly for about two hours, reaching the stratosphere and eventually popping because of the pressure drop.

“Once they’re back on the ground (a parachute will slow down descent), the students will track them by GPS, recover the metal tags, and mail them back to NASA.”

Known as Paenibacillus xerothermodurans, the bacteria is said to have been discovered at the Kennedy Space Center in 1973 outside of an assembly facility for spacecraft.

The intention is to see how the bacteria responds to conditions similar to Mars, which seems to suggest that total solar eclipse conditions at a very high altitude could represent Mars in terms of temperature and solar radiation.

The unique experiment has some questioning the experiment’s intentions, especially since the US government has a history of waging war on a microscopic scale against its own people—just Google “Tuskegee Syphilis experiments” or “New York City Subway bacteria study” for a brief introduction.

Back in 1996, US Army scientists deliberately unleashed a a strain of bacteria in New York subways to see how it would spread.

As reported by Business Insider:

“This test was one of at least 239 experiments conducted by the military in a 20-year “‘germ warfare testing program’ that went on from 1949 to 1969.

“These experiments that used bacteria to simulate biological weapons were conducted on civilians without their knowledge or consent.

“That stands in direct violation of the Nuremberg Code, which stipulates that “voluntary, informed consent” is required for research participants.”

As we reported earlier this year, NASA openly announced and executed their plan to spray East Coast skies with a variety of metallic particles, including Barium.

So it’s not the first time the US government ejects bizarre particles into the sky in odd experiments—let’s just hope that in this case, history isn’t repeating itself.

via davidwolfe

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