A couple has taken gender reveals to new heights.
Lance Patrick and his girlfriend, Ashley Blankenship, just announced their baby's gender to the world via a weather-balloon mission to the stratosphere.
The duo launched their balloon on Sept. 24 from the mountains near Bishop, California, with the aid of Earth to Sky Calculus, a group of science-minded high-school kids from Bishop.
The balloon carried several GoPro cameras and a spacesuit-clad stuffed monkey, a gift for the couple's future baby. After the balloon rose to a maximum altitude of 20.4 miles (32.8 kilometers), it popped. A parachute then unfurled, revealing a printed announcement featuring the baby's gender and name. (I won't spoil it for you; watch the video to find out.)
"When you're this excited about something, you want to tell the world! So we did!" Patrick said in a statement. "We are glad to have set a new bar for gender reveals. We can't wait to see how we inspire other couples with doing something as innovative as our gender reveal, for their own. What's more, it was delightful to collaborate with the Earth to Sky Calculus student team and make our contribution towards promoting STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] education."
The balloon's payload landed about 150 miles (240 km) away from the launch site, according to the statement.
Patrick and Blankenship — an aspiring comedian and actress, respectively — posted a video of the balloon flight on YouTube on Wednesday (Nov. 1). You can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCq6VjFRpuI&feature=youtu.be
The baby is due Dec. 7.