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Loki Lego Launcher in space
The Loki Lego Launcher reaches 78,000 feet.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, and now the White House are taking notice of two Seattle elementary school girls.

In September, intrepid innovators Rebecca and Kimberly Yeung successfully sent a homemade craft to the edge of space — captivating the GeekWire audience. The “Loki Lego Launcher,” named for their late cat and an R2D2 lego that rode aboard, rose to 78,000 feet, propelled by a helium-filled weather balloon. The craft had a GPS tracker and two GoPros on board, which captured the amazing footage below.

Their ingenuity caught the attention of the Obama administration and the girls were invited to participate in the president’s last White House Science Fair Wednesday.

“Kimberly and Rebecca hope to show other children that science and engineering is not only interesting and accessible for kids, but a lot of fun as well,” Amanda Stone, White House Senior Program Manager in the office of Digital Strategy, says in a blog post.

The girls and their father, Winston Yeung, planned to launch the spacecraft again during their spring break, but the voyage has been postponed until after their trip to D.C.

“We are super excited and honored and thrilled all at the same time,” write the Yeungs on their blog.

Clockwise from the top right: Ed Lu, Rebecca, Kimberly and Winston Yeung, their father.
Clockwise from the top right: Ed Lu, Rebecca, Kimberly and Winston Yeung, their father.

In October, Rebecca and Kimberly participated in the GeekWire Summit, where they met astronaut and Sentinel Mission CEO Ed Lu. The girls were a huge hit on our Kids Tech Panel and proved their Loki Lego Launcher was a worthy learning experience for the young innovators.

“The main lesson that we learned was: Don’t speculate, rely on data,” said Rebecca to a big round of applause.

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