High School Student Sends EarthBound SNES Cartridge Into Space and It's Still Playable

We always knew that the classic Super Nintendo role-playing adventure EarthBound had worldwide appeal — but who knew that it had the potential to reach for the stars?

Initially reported by Kotaku, there was an interesting experiment conducted by a high school student, in which he sent a SNES EarthBound cartridge into the reaches of space.

Ronnie Doyle, 14, recently posted this video over at Krazy Contraptions, noting that he was given the opportunity to send any small item into the edge of space. Naturally, he chose EarthBound.

“The process of sending the game is very frightening,” Doyle said to Kotaku. “This is a $200 game that has a big risk of not coming back in one piece. The cartridge was drilled into both sides to ensure it had a safe flight, but I decided to take that risk.”

In the video, which you can also see above, the cartridge manages to make its way far into the reaches of space, around 100,000 feet. Based on what the Earth To Sky Calculus group had to say, that’s where “the noontime sky fades to black, stars pop out, and meteors can be seen in broad ‘daylight.’”

The journey itself is startling, but here’s how everything ended up. After EarthBound came back to our planet, the Earth To Sky group located it and sent it back to Doyle. He went to try it on his Super Nintendo system, and it still works.

He vows to keep the game “unless someone wants to trade Stadium Events for it,” he joked. Perhaps he can try sending that into the stars, as well?

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But Doyle had fun with his experiment and has gotten a lot of positive attention from it. And the fact he can still enjoy the game is really something. “As far as I know, this is the only copy of EarthBound that is not bound to Earth.”

You can track down a used copy of EarthBound for yourself at used game stores and on eBay. If you prefer a cheaper alternative, you can also download the game for Wii U and New Nintendo 3DS.