Nugget the teddy bear floating above the curvature of the Earth

The Museum of the Goldfields has successfully launched a teddy bear called Nugget 37 kilometres above the Earth, into the Stratosphere.

Equipped with a video camera and GPS, Nugget made the ascent on WA Day attached to a high-altitude balloon.

Strong high-altitude winds blew Nugget about 300km from Kalgoorlie and the teddy bear landed in rough terrain.

Volunteers from the Eastern Goldfields 4WD Club set off on the weekend to recover the teddy bear. The GPS’s last ping was used to determine the search area and a drone confirmed Nugget’s location.

After some skilful off-road driving, Nugget – in astonishingly good condition – was retrieved and returned to the Museum.

Museum of the Goldfields Operations Manager Cara Haymes said the video camera captured spectacular footage.

“We now have a unique ‘bear’s-eye view’ of the Goldfields, as well as incredible vision of Nugget floating above the curvature of the Earth!” Ms Haymes said.

The aim of Nugget’s sky-high mission was to inspire people to explore their world, promote STEM learning in regional communities, and advance our knowledge of the Goldfields.

The data from Nugget’s journey and the footage captured will form the base of future educational programs and resources at the Museum of the Goldfields.

This project was supported by MacTrack, the Eastern Goldfields 4WD Club, RedCat Media and Ikka Steel.

“Our thanks must go to the local community for its support of this out of the ordinary project,” Ms Haymes said.

“We now have an exceptional adventure we can share with our visitors.”

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Media contact
Sharna Craig
Media and Publicity Officer
Western Australian Museum
sharna.craig@museum.wa.gov.au