Outfitted in a homemade spacesuit, "Camilla" the rubber chicken rides into the stratosphere on March 3 as part of an experiment to measure solar radiation at point-blank range.
Students with Bishop Union High School in California launched the chicken—the mascot of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory—before and during a solar storm. For both flights Camilla wore a pair of radiation badges of the same kind used by medical technicians and nuclear workers to assess dosages.
The results will help the students design a future astrobiology project to test whether certain species of microbes can survive the harsh conditions at the edge of space.
Space Pictures This Week: Solar Chicken, Aurora Angel, More
A rubber chicken flies high, a "split" galaxy is unmasked, heavenly lights spread over Sweden, and more in the week's best space pictures.