Ballooning into near spce

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Well-Known Member
Jan 19, 2009
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Last Saturday the UAH Space Hardware club flew it's first Balloonsat launch of the year. I'm not sure of the the peak altitude but it was roughly 80,000 ft. It carried up a geiger counter and several other scientific payloads as well as a Sony HD video camera. In addition to helping with the ground station, I also got to conduct the launch.

Not quite rocketry but still exciting.

edit: Make that ballooning
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I fixed your title and I'd love to see pix when you get some.
Great movie and interesting project:) Do these balloons pose any risk to aircraft:) Not trying to be negative just curious. it is a great looking project.
They're covered under FAR part 101, the same as our rockets.

And it's big, shiny, and easy to spot. It will spend most of its flight time above the 35-40k cruising altitude of most airliners.
I just watched the video, and I've decided that I would like to do the same thing myself. So, I'd like to ask the following:

  1. Where did you buy the balloon, and how much did it cost?
  2. What sort of permissions do you need to launch one (in the uk)
  3. What do you need to have on board the balloon?
  4. What would I have to plan?
  5. How much would the whole project cost?

Thanks in advance,

I have a couple of (rocket) friends and we've done this a few times.

It gives me a chance to bring this thread up again.

In that thread there is another UK resident interested it flying a HAB. Maybe you can get together.

Costs are modest. We paid $65 US for the balloon and about $85 for the lifting gas.

There has never been an airborne balloon strike in the US. Keep in mind that the US weather Service launches about 75,000 of these / year at 100 stations throughout the country. Aircraft strike risk is extremely low.

HABing is fun. I get as much a thrill from it as rockets.
Here's another HAB photo from Greg (or 11Bravo around here). This flight was yesterday 2.13.10 and this photo from 97,544' over Iowa. Lots of snow this year!

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a friend and I are wanting to attempt something exactly like this. MIT seems to have accomplished it rather cheaply than what we were expecting. I'm sure if we were to invest in much more powerful electronics and use rocketry type recovery, we could make this project a success.

We flew our 4th flight last Saturday and had a blast with it - again!

Our web page guy should be having further updates soon.

Here is the above photo labeled with points of interest. The scale of the pic is amazing!