Fly to space with the third annual Global Space Balloon Challenge

Hundreds of teams across the world launch balloons throughout April 2016


The Global Space Balloon Challenge (GSBC) is connecting people all around the world with one goal in mind: to simultaneously launch balloons to space from every corner of the globe. Last April, 120 teams from nearly 30 countries on 6 continents flew together and shared their stories every step of the way. The third challenge is underway right now as everyone - students and teachers, amateurs and professionals, children and their parents – let’s their ideas fly.

At its core, the GSBC was founded to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists. It’s fun to build balloons, fun to launch them, and fun to see the Earth from a new perspective. Our community is centered around a forum where teams ask questions and share results, where there are tutorials to help you get started, and where there are challenges to strive for.

Earth view

All teams will agree - it’s a surreal feeling when you look at pictures of the black of space and curvature of the Earth, knowing that those came from a payload you built. Once you record video from 100,000 feet, you can’t stop coming back for more.

This experience is rare because traditional space projects can take hundreds of thousands of dollars and years to develop. Now, through the Global Space Balloon Challenge, for about $500 and a few weekends of work, a group with no prior training can send a package to the edge of space with teams all over the world.

Project Ikarus Switzerland
Credit: Project Ikarus, Switzerland, 2nd Place Best Photograph GSBC 2015

We’re extremely grateful to the support of Arduino for helping make our challenges happen, since they’re a great way to reward teams who go above and beyond. Prizes of Arduino kits fit perfectly within the educational vision of the GSBC, since those boards will be used by students and adults to build even more complicated payloads for their next high altitude balloon flight.

It’s never too late to get involved - this year’s participants are racing to the clouds and back, and you can too. Next year, the Global Space Balloon Challenge will be timed to align with the solar eclipse, so don’t wait to sign up.

View from the invent in collaboration with Arduino

Global Space Balloon Challenge participants

Global Space Balloon Challenge participants working

About the Global Space Balloon Challenge:
The Global Space Balloon Challenge was founded in 2013 in a joint effort between students at Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It has since grown and is being organized by volunteers in the aerospace industry and universities alike. Visit for more information.
Global Space Balloon Challenge projectsProfile Picture Credit: John Flaig,, USA, First Place Best Photograph GSBC 2015




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