Press Release

BTS-1 Balloon Transport System’s First Launch with Three Mission Mascots “Inspiration”

By SpaceRef Editor
May 5, 2011
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BTS-1 Balloon Transport System’s First Launch with Three Mission Mascots “Inspiration”

Three mission mascots have joined forces to raise awareness for Science Education and Peace through Bears on Patrol, a nonprofit organization based in Carrollton, Georgia. They will fly to near space (about 100,000 feet) in a weather balloon equipped with tracking devices and three GoPro HD cameras to record their journey. The launch will take place on May 8th, 2011 from the University of Houston central campus. Launch preparations begin at 10 AM. The flight capsule was named “Inspiration” as part of a naming contest.

“Who hasn’t dreamed of reaching space, getting closer to the stars and looking back at our beautiful blue planet?,” says mission commander Camilla Corona SDO, “BTS-1, the Balloon Transport System’s First Flight, aims to show kids and grownups that reaching the Edge of Space is really possible. Our goal is to inspire the next generation of engineers, scientists and explorers.”

“I am very excited to be working with a great crew, and a very talented group of people,” says BTS-1 Pilot Fuzz Aldrin, “Camilla and Skye have inspired me to reach out to more people to get them excited about science and space. We’ve already had a great response through social media, like Facebook and Twitter”.

“With the right equipment, anyone can fly!” says Mission Specialist Skye Bleu.

The three mission mascots want to demonstrate that parents and teachers can easily put together a project that can reach the Edge of Space and get kids excited about the engineering and science aspect. The BTS-1 mission was modeled closely after a real NASA space mission, including a mission patch, mission training, pre-flight medical exams and even a movie theme based mission poster. Furthermore, on board the “Inspiration” capsule will be an item previously flown in Space. A NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Space Experiment Module sticker, which flew on STS-80, Space Shuttle Columbia will be making one more flight.

When asked why the BTS-1 mission was scheduled to launch on May 8, Commander Camilla SDO swiftly replies “It’s not only Mother’s Day and what a great day for us to celebrate the many strong and wonderful women, but the International Space Station will be flying over Houston during our ascent!”

Camilla Corona SDO, the mission commander, is a rubber chicken and the mascot of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Camilla’s goal is to educate children about the Sun, Space Weather, Space and Science and to encourage them to pursue a career in science, engineering or aeronautics. Fuzz Aldrin, the BTS-1 Pilot, is a teddy bear who represents Bears on Patrol. Skye Bleu, the Mission Specialist, is a flying pig and a representative of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Like Camilla, she is eager to encourage students to get involved in science and engineering.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is designed to help us understand the Sun’s influence on Earth and Near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously.

Bears on Patrol is a non-profit organization providing police departments with teddy bears to give small children in traumatic situations.

AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 35,000 individual members worldwide, and 90 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Romeo Durscher
Tel: (650) 723-8320
@romeoch on Twitter

Related Links

Mission Blog –
NASA SDO Camilla Space Weather Project:
Camilla SDO on Twitter – Camilla SDO on Facebook –
Skye Bleu on Twitter –
Skye Bleu on Facebook –

SpaceRef staff editor.