The weather was perfect, and the children were excited to watch the white balloon go up into the sky during the weather balloon launch held Wednesday morning.

The launch took place on the practice football field at Mexico High School. In attendance were children from the Early Childhood Center, their parents, and a group from the Developmental Training Center in Mexico.

Dr. Pat Market and graduate students from the meteorology department at the University of Missouri prepared the balloon for launch by filling the balloon with helium.

Questions were asked on how high the balloon will go, what does it do and one little boy even asked if it would get close to a rocket.

Dr. Market explained how the launch would take place and gave some information on the balloon and what it does after it is in the air. Attached to the balloon is a box, which is a weather station. It records the atmospheric pressure, humidity, temperature and wind speed while it is in the air. The balloon goes approximately eight to 10 miles in the sky and ascends upward quickly. "It goes up about 300 feet a minute," Dr. Market said.

A parachute is attached so the balloon will come down safely. Market said the amount of time it stays in the atmosphere depends on how big the balloon is and how much helium is pumped into it. As it goes up the balloon will expand. "We don't have control on how big it gets, but it can get as big as a house," he said.

Graduate students helping Dr. Market were Jon Bongard, Chasity Henson and Devondria Reynolds.