To Infinity and Beyond: Watch This Paper Plane Fall to Earth From Orbit

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Why yes, and it’s made of paper straws.

A team of passionate British space lovers embarked on a project to “reinvigorate the British space race” — on a budget.

The inventive crew launched the paper glider Vulture 1 into space, hoisted by a helium balloon that eventually exploded, leading the paper plane to sail back down to Earth. It’s mission: to take photographs and video footage of the galaxy along the way. (Learn more about paper planes in Science: The Paper–Plane Caper.)

Believed to be the first project of its kind, Vulture 1 landed only 20 miles from its launch site (100 miles west of Madrid in Spain), with its cameras and tracking devices intact. The plane, code-named “PARIS” (Paper Aircarft Released Into Space), retrieved breathtaking pictures and footage of the event. (See More: The Labor of Space Exploration.)

Now that’s what NewsFeed calls aerial photography!