Students attending the 2016 High-Altitude Student Platform launch in Fort Sumner, N.M., pose in front of the fully inflated scientific balloon just prior to lift-off.
NASA is accepting applications now through Dec. 16 from graduate and undergraduate university students to fly experiments to the edge of space on a scientific balloon. Students and professors interested in applying are invited to participate in a Nov. 11 teleconference. Up to 12 student teams will build and fly their experiments as part of the High Altitude Student Platform program, a joint project between NASA and the Louisiana State University’s Louisiana Space Consortium (LaSPACE) in Baton Rouge.
“Our scientific balloons have long been a brilliant training ground for the next generation of scientists and engineers,” said Debbie Fairbrother, NASA’s Balloon Program Office chief. “From astronauts and Noble-prize winning scientists, to engineers and technicians among the best in the business—balloons have been a starting point for so many, and I think that’s the true value of HASP.”
A panel of experts from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Texas and LaSPACE will review the applications and select the finalists for the next flight opportunity, scheduled for fall 2017.