A Skoltech team led by assistant professor Alessandro Golkar is analyzing the results yielded by four research balloons launched to the edge of space.

The view from a Skoltech research balloon. Photograph: skoltech.ru

The helium balloons carried scientific experiments designed to advance our understanding of how composite materials, new batteries and other technology behave in space-like conditions.

A spectacular pre-dawn launch deep in the Russian provinces last week was coordinated by 29-year-old Golkar, who gained international recognition last month as the winner of the Luigi G. Napolitano Award for space research.

Each of the four white balloons was fitted with experiments and cameras, filled with up to 1,200g of helium and released for a five-hour ascent to what is considered the first boundary of space, an altitude of 35km. The last of them is being recovered this week.

As Golkar's team analyzes the readings from the experiments, read an account of the expedition along with a spectacular photo gallery here.

For more details about the nature of the research, click here