A rubber chicken's flight into the Earth's atmosphere

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A group of students from Bishop, California, have sent a rubber chicken to an altitude of 120,000ft as part of a project.

The journey, which involved attaching the fowl known as Camilla to a helium balloon, was undertaken to test the levels of radiation exposed to the chicken during a solar storm, last month.

Camilla is already well known among space enthusiasts as a mascot of Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory, and has more than 20,000 followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

On the outside of her knitted space suit, she wore a pair of badges to register radiation levels.

She flew twice - once on 3 March before the radiation storm and again on 10 March while the storm was in full swing - to give the students a basis for comparison.

The students now hope to repeat the mission with a species of microbes to find out if they can live at the edge of space.

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