To infinity and beyond… wait, that's not right

RS Components and Mattel send action figure into space

RS Components has collaborated with Mattel to sent one of the toy manufacturer's action figures into space. The Superman action figure replicated the 2012 jump made by Felix Baumgartner from the edge of space.

The project was a combined effort of RS, Mattel Italy and La Scatola dei Giocattoli, a support for Mattel customers. A team of makers, hackers and engineers on the DesignSpark community designed and built a capsule that is attached to a weather balloon.

The craft of electronics and 3D printed components designed for the mission travelled to a height of around 39 kilometres at the edge of space. Superman then free-fell back to Earth. The capsule included a Raspberry Pi mini computer to capture mission data, as well as a specially designed tracking unit to locate and retrieve Superman.

The launch took place on September 12 in the UK at Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. During the flight, the mission data (altitude, temperature, weather) was collected along with HD videos and images. Both Superman and the capsule were monitored through a radio connection and a GPS. At the end of the mission, RS posted the video footage and all the design files, bill of materials and design notes so others could build their own.

DesignSpark Community Manager at RS Components, Pete Wood, said the project was a demonstration of the firm’s innovation in engineering design.

"It has been a unique experiment as it involved carefully identifying the several challenges associated with High Altitude Ballooning (HAB) and developing a team of engineering experts who came up with the right plan for the capsule."

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MattelRS ComponentsSuperman

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Chris Player
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?