Pictured above is one of the 1,200 images captured by Project X as it made its 95-mile trek. (Photo courtesy of Ojai Valley School)
Daphne Psaledakis, Ojai Valley News contributor
It's 6:49 a.m. on a Tuesday and a dozen middle school students are huddled around a giant white helium-filled weather balloon on Ojai Valley School's lower campus athletic field.
Their breath is visible in the cold morning air, and their eyes are bleary from a long night crashed in the tech lab, making final calculations on a science project that they hoped would be out of this world.
On the field, the countdown begins. "10, nine, eight, seven, six …" The students tighten their collective grip on the balloon and its long roped tail.