AN aspiring astrophysicist aged 10 saw a space-going clarinet she designed lifted by balloon to the edge of the atmosphere.

Elin Day-Thompson, from Malvern, entered a competition co-hosted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Beano comic, asking children aged six to 13 to re-design an item they couldn’t live without in space.

The winner was Elin, who designed a clarinet that she meticulously modified to work in space.

The clarinet was developed into a 3D prototype and rose 35km to the edge of space where it experienced temperatures as low as -63C before hurtling back to earth at speeds of over 150mph.

The clarinet was launched in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, and landed safely by parachute over 70 miles away near Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire.

Elin attended the launch and saw her design head up above the clouds to become the first clarinet in space.

Beano illustrators also transformed her into a cartoon character starring alongside Dennis and Gnasher, which will feature in the this week’s edition of the comic.

She said: “I was so excited to hear I’d won the competition.

“I love everything about space and my dream job is to become an astrophysicist.

“I love playing my clarinet and would want to take it with me – but I realised I wouldn’t be able to play it while wearing a space helmet.

“To make it work, I designed it to have an air supply tank which would blow air through the instrument, I also added an amplifier to make sure I can hear the instrument due to the change in air pressure and gravity.

“It’s amazing that my clarinet design is the first in space. It was really inspiring to attend the launch and learn from the engineers on site.”

Aspiring astronaut Sophie Harker, one of the judges, said: “Elin’s design really captured the imagination of the judges and it was wonderful to see the intricate level of detail she’d considered to ensure the clarinet would work in space.”