New Space and Tech

NASA Seeks Student Payloads for High-Flying Research Balloon

By Keith Cowing
April 8, 2013
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NASA is accepting applications from students at U.S. colleges and universities who want to send their experiments to the edge of space on a high-flying scientific balloon.

The annual NASA project provides near space access for 12 undergraduate and graduate student experiments to be carried by a NASA high-altitude research balloon. The flights typically last 15 to 20 hours and reach an altitude of 23 miles. Experiments may include compact satellites or prototypes.

The experiments are flown aboard the High Altitude Student Platform, or HASP, a balloon-born instrument stack launched from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility’s remote site in Fort Sumner, N.M. The goals of the project are to provide a space test platform to encourage student research and stimulate the development of student satellite payloads and other space-engineering products.
HASP seeks to enhance the technical skills and research abilities of students in critical science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. The project is a joint effort between NASA and the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium.

NASA’s HASP houses and provides power, mechanical support and communications for test articles and instruments. It can support approximately 200 pounds of student payloads. Since 2006, the HASP program has selected 44 payloads for flight, the work of more than 200 students from across the United States.

A question-and-answer teleconference for interested parties will be held Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. EST. The deadline for applications is Dec. 18. NASA is targeting fall 2010 for the next flight opportunity. NASA expects to make selections in January 2010. Teleconference dial in information, application materials and technical details are available in the Call for Proposals document at:

Information about NASA’s scientific balloon program is available at:

More information about NASA’s education programs is available at:

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