On Cloud 9! Couple's Baby Gender Reveal Goes Stratospheric (Video)

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.)

Still from the gender-reveal video of parents-to-be Lance Patrick and Ashley Blankenship, who launched a weather balloon to the stratosphere on Sept. 24, 2017. The balloon carried this stuffed monkey, a present for their future child. (Image credit: Lance Patrick)

"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.

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on Space.com.

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.com and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.