How to Launch a Weather Balloon and Payload into the Stratosphere

  The strarosphere. Starting at 10 miles into the atmosphere and ending at about 31 miles into the atmosphere, the strarophere second major layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. When in the stratosphere, there are three thin layers of the atmosphere before space. Ever wanted to see space on a live feed? The following steps show show to organize a weather balloon to embark on a stratospheric journey.

1. Get a get a weather balloon, many people that have preformed this experiment have used a balloon made by Kaymont which are not that expensive.

2. Making the balloon as visible as possible is a recommended tactic because it would allow planes to see the balloon and not get tangled in the experiment. T do this, get a radar reflector and suspend it between the balloon and the parachute.

3. The parachute might just be the most important piece in the contraption. The recommended size is 5 feet.

4. To track the movement of the balloon, still cameras, video cameras and devices that measure and record humidity, altitude, temperature, acceleration, and magnet field. To prevent the batteries from freezing, lithium-ion batteries that are  rated to -40°C would be ideal. The payload must weigh less then what the ballon can lift.

5.  The release of the of the payload at the legal hight requires and parachute release at a set time. To release the payload simply, a nine volt battery can be used to detach the payload.

6. To protect the payload from the extreme temperatures and from the impact of the ground, many people use a foam cooler to or make an enclosure out of polystyrene (XPS). This material will not break when it hits the ground. To protect individual objects, Pelican cases will protect it and weight it down for an easier fall.

7.  In order to find the probe as it lands, a tracking device will be most helpful.

A father and son from Park Slope decided NASA wasn’t doing enough to document the stratosphere, and decided to take matters into their own hands. After testing their “19-inch helium filled weather balloon” in Brooklyn, Luke Geissbuhler and his son Max headed upstate and launched the device, complete with a camera, into space.  See the cameras trip into the stratosphere here.


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