Physics Students Successfully Launch Balloon into Near-Space

HIGH POINT, N.C., Dec. 18, 2013 – High Point University students successfully launched their first payload-carrying balloon into near-space.

The purpose of the project was to launch the balloon 100,000 feet from HPU’s campus, take images and videos of the near-space environment and retrieve the payload intact. This is the first step toward launching future balloons with increasingly complicated science experiments on board.

The first launch was a success, with the balloon reaching 90,000 feet and payload returning to earth over 150 miles east of HPU in a field just outside of Bethel, N.C.

“Now that we have proven to ourselves that we can retrieve the payload from a high-altitude balloon launch successfully, we will start adding scientific instruments onboard in the future to take data on the way up,” said Dr. Brad Barlow, assistant professor of astrophysics. “The first experiment will likely be to map out ozone as a function of altitude in the Piedmont Triad.”

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