NASA Is Giving Students An Opportunity To Experience Edge Of Space Balloon Flight


Ever wanted to get a ride in a scientific balloon? Well, now you might have a chance to do just that with NASA’s 2017 Edge-of-Space balloon flight offer to all the graduate and undergraduate students.

NASA’s Balloon Program Office chief Debbie Fairbrother iterated on the importance of the scientific balloon experience for aspiring engineers in his interview,

“Our scientific balloons have long been a brilliant training ground for the next generation of scientists and engineers. From astronauts and Noble-prize winning scientists to engineers and technicians among the best in the business—balloons have been a starting point for so many, and I think that’s the true value of HASP.”

[Image source: NASA]
[Image source: NASA]

HASP or High Altitude Student Platform is a project run by Louisiana Space Consortium LaSPACE from the Louisiana State University and NASA.

In this project, the students will be required to build and experiment on a grand scale with a panel of experts from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, Louisiana Space Consortium and the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Texas. All of these experts will also examine the applications of the balloon and finally choose the finalists for the next flight scheduled for fall 2017.

The HASP experiment has been a hit since its inception in 2006. The project has given valuable experience to more than 960 students from 34 institutions across 19 states and even to students from Canada and Puerto Rico.

[Image source: NASA]
[Image source: NASA]
According to its website:

“The High Altitude Student Platform HASP has designed to carry up to twelve student payloads to an altitude of about 36 kilometers with flight durations of 15 to 20 hours using a small volume, zero pressure balloon. It is anticipated that the payloads carried by HASP will be designed and built by students and will be used to flight-test compact satellites or prototypes and to fly other small experiments. HASP includes a standard mechanical, power and communication interface for the student payload, based upon a flight tested design. This simplifies integration, allows the student payloads to be fully exercised, and minimizes platform development / operation costs. In addition, HASP is lightweight and has simple mission requirements, thus providing maximum flexibility in the launch schedule.”

If you want to get a chance to participate and gather further information about the teleconference schedule you can visit the following website:

The registrations are open until December 16. All of the interested applicants will be invited by NASA to join a teleconference on November 11.


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