Tauranga mascot makes space history

By Genevieve Helliwell

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Eva the mascot cow is on her way back to Tauranga after being lifted more than 36,500m to the edge of space.

Images of Eva show Eva moments before her launch, at the edge of space hovering over the Nevada Desert, the moment the balloon carrying her exploded and her rough landing in Death Valley, California.

Eva is the mascot of Tauranga internet service provider Enternet Online Ltd (EOL). The company's managing director, Terry Coles, said the footage was exciting and dramatic to watch. "We have quite literally shone sunlight on the Bay at the very edge of space and that's a first."

During her journey Eva wore a lapel pin from Tauranga City Mayor Stuart Crosby and a badge from Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Ross Paterson on her jacket.

Eva was launched with assistance from students at Bishop High School in California on April 22 (Earth Day) after EOL won an international competition to send an object to the edge of space as part of a spaceweather.com initiative. The expedition involved a specially designed balloon capsule travelling to the edge of space to gather scientific data.

Eva is set to return to Tauranga with TNT Express special services. 

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- Bay of Plenty Times

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