Near-Space Balloon Competition
Student Payload Competition
You can participate! We are looking for groups of students all across North Dakota in middle school, high school and college to submit proposals for a custom-built payload.
Groups may contain three to twenty students, and must have a faculty mentor. Students should submit their proposal by November 16th, 2012. They will be notified of their proposal status by December 14th, 2012.
Payloads must be less than two pounds. It is recommended that they be no larger than a foot (twelve inches) on a side. No live animals may be used.
The selected payloads will be launched near Bismarck during the last weekend of April 13, 2012.
What are High Altitude Balloons?
High altitude balloons are a relatively easy way to get experiments off the ground and into our upper atmosphere.
With high altitude balloons, we can learn about space physics and engineering, test equipment for future space flight, take pictures and video from up to 100,000 feet in the air (more than three times the height of Mt. Everest) and more!
The NASA North Dakota Space Grant Consortium (NDSGC) is funding this state-wide project, as a fun way for students across North Dakota to experience some space science and engineering.
What kinds of payloads are there?
Lots of science has been aided by the use of high altitude balloons. The benefits of doing experiments at a high altitude include studying things that get dispersed or absorbed by the dense lower atmosphere and studying a region that is higher than most airplanes fly but lower than spacecraft can reach.
High altitude balloons have been used to study the Cosmic Microwave Background, cosmic rays, atmospheric contaminants and emissions from supernovas and black holes. They can also be used for remote sensing and imaging and especially for testing new methods and equipment. We can even have fun testing what happens to objects under decreased pressures! (Hint: marshmallows may explode.)
Grand Prize wins $1,500, with a visit to Aerospace School.
Who to Contact
Send questions and proposal submissions to: email@example.com.