A WEATHER balloon will be launched in Yate to travel around 100,000ft high as part of a 10-year community arts project.

Ella Good, 28, and Nicki Kent, 31, are Bristol-based artists behind an innovative arts project, called 'A Decade with Mars', inspired by scientific research and exploration of Mars.

The project involves working with a small group of non-astronauts who applied to the Mars One Project to become the first people to colonise Mars. These potential space voyagers live in cities across the UK and to celebrate the start of the project the artists will launch a weather balloon, filled with helium that can travel to around 100,000ft high, on Yate Common later this month with help from pupils from St Pauls Catholic Primary School.

Miss Good said: “The project is all about space travel, so we thought we'd mark the beginning by trying to get as close to space as we can ourselves.

"We have met several people around the country who made applications to be part of a proposed one way trip to Mars, which is meant to go in ten years time. Over the next ten years we're going to keep meeting these people again and again, to document what changes in their lives and to see what changes in the world.

"Some of the launches are in cities where these potential astronauts live, and the Bristol one is because this is our hometown and so we wanted to mark the beginning here too.

"It's in Yate specifically because of air traffic restrictions around Bristol Airport, we need to be be a bit out in the countryside.

"The balloon will travel to near space and if all goes well a mounted camera will capture some amazing images."

Over the next 10 years the artists will work with school children, community groups and artists and they will explore how we live now and how we might live in the future.

Pupils will explore through a mixture of arts and science, concepts of space travel and why humans want to colonise other planets and will make and launch their very own bottle rockets.

The launch will take place on Saturday, April 18 at 1pm on Yate Common, nearest to the entrance on Westerleigh Road, and everyone is welcome to attend.

For anyone interested in getting involved the project email ellaandnicki@gmail.com or visit website www.ellaandnicki.com.