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Posted 9/16/12 at 5:17 PM

With the help of a weather balloon, Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham launched a ball into the stratosphere on Sunday

Now Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham can say they've launched a baseball into outer space -- almost.

The two Twins sluggers signed a ball that was included in the payload of a weather balloon released at Target Field on Sunday. The launch was part of a pregame ceremony recognizing the inaugural Minnesota Aerospace and Aviation Week.

The balloon, part of a joint project between NASA and the University of Minnesota, rose an estimated 1,000 feet per minute and reached an altitude of approximately 70,000 feet before bursting. After the balloon burst, the capsule descended using a parachute and was recovered by a team of students upon landing. The team tracked the balloon's progress throughout the game on their website and on Twitter.

-- Derek Wetmore / MLB.com Real-Time Correspondent

Content captured by Real-Time Correspondent on a Samsung Galaxy S III

 

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