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On August 21, as North America experiences its first total eclipse of the Sun in 38 years, astrobiologists are taking advantage of this rare celestial event to conduct experiments on life’s ability to survive hostile conditions.

Dozens of balloons, outfitted with cameras, will be launched into space across the path of totality — the zone stretching from Charleston, South Carolina to the coast of Oregon where the Moon will appear to completely eclipse the Sun. The Eclipse Ballooning Project — a citizen science project using 55 teams, including college, high school and middle school students and ballooning groups — will for the first time capture video and images of the total eclipse from near space, with the footage displayed live at the site Additional information is available at: