Getting Started

If you're reading this, there is a good chance that you're interested in doing your own high-altitude balloon launch.  Good for you!  Many people have experienced the thrill of sending their experiments to "near space," and successfully recovered as well, and we want to see you achieve the same success.  In the years that we've been flying balloons, we've learned a lot; this page is designed to introduce you to some of the lessons that we've learned along the way.


Before you do anything regarding high-altitude ballooning, you should familiarize yourself with the regulations on the topic.  They're not hard, and it's your responsibility to know them.  Once you're familiar with those, what you really need is a way to get to near space (a balloon), a way to get the balloon to go up (gas), a way to get the gas into the balloon (a regulator), a way to get your payload down safely (a parachute), and a way to find your stuff (a tracker).  With this list of items, you can attach virtually anything (within the bounds of reason and legality) to a balloon with a parachute and a tracker and analyze your results after you recover your payload.


Things get substantially more complicated when you integrate payload data into your tracking stream, but it’s not impossible. Since this is a getting started guide, we'll focus on the basics, but you can contact us if you want help with more advanced experiments, or if you'd like us to fly your experiment for you.


Finally, keep in mind that these are suggestions... we're not lawyers, and we can't guarantee that you'll get your payload back even if you do exactly what we suggest.