Found September 16, 2012 on
Fox Sports North:
MINNEAPOLIS Minnesota Twins sluggers Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham have combined to hit 53 home runs this season, so they know a thing or two about sending a baseball out of the park.
But on Sunday, both Twins players helped send another baseball further than any home run either of them has ever hit. Before Sunday's Twins game against the Chicago White Sox, a group of University of Minnesota students launched a weather balloon that carried a baseball autographed by Morneau and Willingham.
The balloon was expected to enter the stratosphere and reach an altitude of approximately 70,000 feet before popping.
The students, mostly engineering majors at the University of Minnesota, tracked the balloon's flight in real time via a GPS. The Twins used Twitter to update the balloon's status during Sunday's game.
The launch was part of a kickoff event to start the Minnesota Aerospace and Aviation Week, which runs Sept. 16-22. To help celebrate the event, the Twins welcomed Bob Cabana, the director of NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center, to Target Field. Cabana is a Minneapolis native and was a part of four shuttle missions with NASA.
"I love talking to students of all ages and sharing my experiences with them, letting them know what you can do if you apply yourself," Cabana said. "What you learn on launching a weather balloon, you say, 'Is that going to space?' Well, it's going to the edge of space. It's up there at 70,000 feet. The systems engineering that goes into putting packages together to record the data and make everything work, the kids learn an awful lot by doing hands-on work and integrating all they've learned in the classroom."
James Flaten is the associate director of the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium, a college-level NASA program, and an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. He said the group had to get clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration in order to launch the balloon from Target Field, which is located downtown Minneapolis. Normally, the weather balloons are launched outside of the Twin Cities.
"This is giving students at the undergraduate level some familiarity with space flight, space environment, space vehicles," Flaten said. "On flights of this sort, you can actually do some good science."
By the midway point of Sunday's game, the balloon had already crossed the St. Croix River into Wisconsin, with one camera pointing downward to show the balloon's flight and two more cameras directed at the autographed baseball.
After the balloon pops, the baseball and cameras will descend via a parachute and land about 50 miles east of Target Field, somewhere in western Wisconsin.
Talk about a moon shot.
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BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
MINNEAPOLIS Despite beginning the year at Triple-A Rochester, Minnesota left-hander Scott Diamond has pitched the most innings of any Twins pitcher this season. He lasted 5-13 innings Sunday against Chicago and has now pitched 153-23 innings for the Twins this season, more than he's pitched in a year at any point in his professional career.
Over his last several starts, it...
MINNEAPOLIS Chris Herrmann's major league debut was brief, but it was still a day to remember for the Minnesota Twins catcher.
Herrmann entered Sunday's game against the Chicago White Sox as a defensive replacement in the top of the eighth inning of the Twins' 9-2 loss.
After replacing Ryan Doumit defensively, Herrmann got his first big league at-bat in the bottom...
Who's up next in the End of Season Post-Mortem series? Minnesota Twins, come on down!
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Occasionally, a young pitcher will be referred to as "effectively wild." On Saturday, Minnesota's Samuel Deduno was simply wildly erratic.
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Deduno was all over the place...
Sam Deduno is so close to becoming a regular major league starter he can taste it. So can the Minnesota Twins, who desperately need Deduno -- or Cole De Vries, or Esmerling Vasquez, or P.J. Walters -- to take the final step. Minnesota has only one pitcher locked into the 2013 rotation, rookie Scott Diamond, who became the ace of the 2012 staff with an 11-8 record and 3.69 ERA after...
SHADES OF MAYS
Video: Over the head basket catch
By Anthony Caruso III
The Capital Sports Report
Owner/Managing Editor/Sr. Writer
The Minnesota Twins are expected to get catcher Joe Mauer back soon.
He could be back on Tuesday. He has been affected by back spasms.
Previously, Twin manager Ron Gardenhire said Mauer would be available to play this afternoon, as he met with the media this morning. But then, later said Mauer would...
"He's a great communicator. He's up-front, he puts it out there -- what he thinks is best for the union -- and he's just a great leader."
"You're willing to trust his opinion and his leadership and his instincts. He's just a perfect union boss, I think."
-Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins, via John Shipley of the Pioneer Press.
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Get the perspective of a baseball as it gets launched into the stratosphere attached to a weather balloon from Target Field.
By MATT BEARDMORE,
STATS WriterThe Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians are well out of the AL Central race, but they'll both have a major impact on which team finishes first.Their matchup this week could help determine if Minnesota or Cleveland ends up last.The Twins will try to snap a three-game skid when they go for a fourth consecutive victory over the Indians on Tuesday...
The Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians are well out of the AL Central race, but they'll both have a major impact on which team finishes first.
Their matchup this week could help determine if Minnesota or Cleveland ends up last.
The Twins will try to snap a three-game skid when they go for a fourth consecutive victory over the Indians on Tuesday night.
Long out of the playoff...