Balloon Payload Program

Balloon Payload ProgramWeather balloon with payload string in flight

Goal: to provide easy access to “near-space” for students who cannot afford a launch vehicle!

  • A weather balloon is used to lift small payloads to the edge of the atmosphere (85,000-100,000 feet altitude).
  • Payloads are not orbital but space-like conditions exist in terms of pressure, temperature, and radiation environment.
  • Experiments can be performed on the way up and on the way down via parachute.
  • Students are involved in every aspect of this space launch program: payload design and construction, vehicle launch and recovery, post-flight data analysis.
  • Approaching 100 successful launches during 15+ years of operation!
  • Recent Balloon Launches

BPP Director and University of Maryland College Park Advisor:
Dr. Mary Bowden, Dept. of Aerospace Engineering

Faculty or teachers at any Maryland educational institution who are interested in supervising student balloon payload projects are encouraged to contact Matt Collinge