Sam the Dog Got to Space, Needs Help Getting Home 'A school full of sad children' has launched a national search By Michael Harthorne, Newser Staff Posted Apr 9, 2016 11:04 AM CDT 31 comments Comments Sam the Dog putting on a brave face during his doomed journey into space. (Facebook) (Newser) – The search is on for Britain's cuddliest astronaut: Sam the Dog. School children launched the stuffed animal into space—along with a GPS tracker and camera—using a large helium ballon as a class project on Tuesday, Stuff reports. According to the Independent, Sam left Earth behind at nearly 20 feet per second before stopping 15 miles up. But on the descent, a disaster of Gravity-like proportions struck: The ballon popped, sending Sam and his spacecraft tumbling back down to Earth. The camera, balloon, and tracker were found nearly 50 miles from where they were launched. But there was no sign of Sam. "I had an assembly the next day in which I broke the news," the school's principal tells NBC News. "You could have heard a pin drop; there was silence and shock." Now the kids have launched a national search for their brave astronaut with the hashtag #FindSam. SentIntoSpace, the company that worked with students on the project, thinks he could be anywhere within a 40 to 50-mile radius. "We do not have any data on the aerodynamics of a toy dog," one employee tells NBC. A local hotel is offering a free night's stay as a reward for finding Sam, and that's on top of cheering up—as the Independent puts it—"a school full of sad children." View video of Sam the Dog's trip to space here.