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Go Ask Mom

Durham to celebrate summer reading by launching capsule into space

Posted July 7, 2013

Yes ... you read that headline right. Wednesday marks the midway point of Durham County Library's Summer Reading program. To celebrate, they'll be sending some stickers into space.

At the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, at 6:30 p.m., about 30 minutes before Wednesday night's game between the Durham Bulls and the Charlotte Knights, the library will actually launch a capsule filled with stickers into the atmosphere.

Here's what will happen, according to a library press release: "Lifted by a helium-filled balloon, the capsule will take off from center field, and multiple cameras will take photos as it races upward. When the capsule reaches a height of about 70,000 feet, the balloon will expand to more than 50 times its original size, then burst, sending the capsule floating back to earth by parachute."

The stickers that traveled into space will go to children throughout the rest of the summer. The Friends of the Durham Library is sponsoring the launch. It's the first ever for a library.

Casey Nees, a children's librarian at North Regional Library, came up with the idea after watching a video of a similar launch by a middle school student. There are hopes to do a live video feed from the capsule. You'll be able to track the capsule's GPS coordinates in real time at

Also Wednesday, just before the game, the Bulls will recognize five exceptional summer readers during an on-field ceremony. 

Durham's summer reading program continues until Aug. 10. For details, click here

For information about other summer reading programs across the region, check this earlier post.


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