Before satellites, scientists used balloons to gather data about our Earth. In 1967, the GHOST (Global Horizontal Sounding Technique) balloon was launched from New Zealand. It stayed in the air for one year and circled the southern hemisphere 25 times. The balloon carried an electronics package that transmitted a radio signal in order to track the balloon and gather data for global weather forecasting.
Earth presents scientists with a strange sort of challenge. It's our home, the one place we know best of all. At the same time, however, there are portions of our world that are as alien to us as Jupiter or Mars. One of the least studied parts of Earth lies in the upper atmosphere. With StratoStar, your students can join the ranks of scientists around the world in pioneering the exploration of the edge of space. They can study the sun as a star with an experiment that will get them closer to our sun than otherwise possible. They can test their theories on atmospheric properties with an experiment floating in the atmosphere itself. There's no limit to the Earth and space science concepts that your students can study.
Characteristics of the environment of near space:
Your students' Earth and space experiment in near-space will make use of these tools:
Earth and space science concepts that can be explored in near-space:
Teaching basic theory? Check out these project based learning ideas:
Students can study Earth, much like NASA scientists study other planets, by launching a probe with a balloon to look at Earth and its star (the sun). The data will be transmitted from the balloon back to Earth in real time, and students can take that data to understand the characteristics of our planet and the sun. The students will benefit from a project based learning activity while using teamwork and problem solving, and the project will meet state standards.
These are just a few examples of what can be done with a StratoStar system. We can help you develop ideas for student experiments that are fun, exciting, and meet state standards. As a StratoStar customer, you will also have access to a network of other educators who have implemented high altitude platform launches in their curriculum.
What Professors Are Saying
One of the great things about high-altitude ballooning is you have the freedom to choose the kind of experiments you want to send up through the air to the edge of space and it's only limited by your creativity.
Dr. Glen Kissel
University of Southern Indiana