Breaking the Cuddle Barrier

The fuzzy new face of space exploration

Teddy Bears in Space
Cambridge University

Leave it to English schoolchildren, the scientific minds behind Winnie the Pooh and Paddington, to achieve the latest astronautical milestone -- sending teddy bears into space.

On Monday, a helium balloon buoyed a quartet of bears 100,000 feet up, to the edge of space, where they sampled the rarefied top of the atmosphere. Sensors monitored the extreme temperatures they experienced -- more than 60 degrees Fahrenheit below zero -- though the bears themselves kept snug in foil spacesuits custom-made for them by the preadolescent mission control team.

After the balloon burst, a parachute carried the small crew safely back to England's green and pleasant land.

[Via the Daily Mail]