Spaceloon aims to take science beyond the stratosphere
Sub-orbital spaceflight is an expensive business, and the reliance on rocketry continues to limit access to space and leave gaps in our knowledge of the upper atmosphere. Spaceloon is looking to address these problems with its balloon technology, and you can get on board to help.
Balloons have long been used to collect scientific data about the Earth's atmosphere, but current state-of-the-art high-altitude balloons can be unreliable and top out at altitudes of around 30 to 35 km (19 to 22 miles). In fact, the current record for the highest altitude for an unmanned balloon is 53.7 km (33.4 miles), achieved by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in 2013.
Spaceloon is reaching higher. With its patent-pending technology it is looking to enable altitude-specific, consistent and reliable access right up to altitudes of 80 km (50 miles) – that's right through the stratosphere into the mesosphere, a region of the atmosphere that relatively little is known about. Such capabilities would provide the ability to explore the edge of space. The company believes its technology could even take balloons to the Kármán line, which at an altitude of 100 km (62 miles) is recognized as the boundary of space.
Such heights would allow the collection of data relating to climate, weather and natural phenomena such as polar aurora, sprites, noctilucent clouds, all things that are currently poorly understood due to the lack of access to the mesosphere.
Aside from a warm, fuzzy feeling for contributing to the advancement of human knowledge, by helping Spaceloon achieve its vision you can receive everything from a shot of a selfie with space in the background taken on a balloon at an altitude between 35 and 70 km (22 and 43 miles), up to the ability to control the balloon flight for two minutes and snap pictures of the Earth to your heart's content. You'll also receive "Spacefaring Civilization" the book and can also gain access to science data on the mysterious mesosphere.
Spaceloon has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the upper atmosphere and lead to benefits for space travel, research, education, hardware testing, communications and weather forecasting.
You can get behind the project by heading here.