Couple takes gender reveal out of this world - literally - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Couple takes gender reveal out of this world - literally

(Source: YouTube/Lance Patrick) (Source: YouTube/Lance Patrick)
LOS ANGELES, CA (WWBT) -

A couple who recently moved to the Richmond area from California took a baby's gender reveal to a whole new level. 

Lance Patrick and Ashley Blankenship recruited the help of a S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) high school team and its leader to send their baby's stuffed monkey - along with a printed baby announcement - to the edge of space. 

The team - named Earth to Sky Calculus - used a weather balloon to send up the monkey and a 9-foot parachute that hid the color of the baby's gender and personalized wording. 

Multiple GoPro cameras and GPS tracking devices were attached to the balloon to record the big reveal. 

Patrick and Blakenship were on hand on Sept. 24 to help launch the balloon, which reached a height of exactly 107,756 feet - 20.4 miles - before it popped. 

"What followed was a violent dance, during which the 6-foot balloon expanded over 50 times its size before exploding," according to a press release. "The dance concluded with the parachute opening and revealing the inside color of chute, along with the revealing gender message, and the couple's baby's name."

(Click here for the reveal or watch it!)

"We are glad to have set a new bar for gender reveals," Patrick said. "We can't wait to see how we inspire other couples with doing something as innovative as our gender reveal, for their own."

Patrick, an aspiring comedian, and Blakenship, an aspiring actress, are based out of Los Angeles, but are living in Richmond to be closer to family and friends as they await to "give birth to their little earthling."  

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