Global Space Balloon Challenge
In a couple of days time the Global Space Balloon Challenge will take place: the starting date is fixed for April 10, 2015.
The Global Space Balloon Challenge is a global event connecting people from all over the world to simultaneously fly high altitude balloons in a given time frame from every corner of the world.
This is the second year that the event takes place: last year, always in April, 60 teams from 18 countries on 6 continents responded to the call to participate in the challenge. The GBSC was founded by students at Stanford University, the University of Michigan and the MIT. Since 2013 it has grown and is being organized by volunteers both in the aerospace industry and universities.
This year 271 teams from 47 countries all over the world registered to simultaneously fly high altitude balloons from every corner of the world.
But what is the idea behind this project? David Gerson, President and co-founder of GSBC, states that it aims at educating children and students in particular, but also their families, makers, amateurs and professionals in science and engineering, together with critical lessons of teamwork and organization, essential skills for future careers.
The goal of the project is to build a community of enthusiasts where everyone can learn from each other and build further. But why is such a challenge so exciting? First of all, on the dedicated website you’ll find forums that let you meet people passionate about space and balloons and collaborate with them; a launch map that shows you where you can meet the registered teams and assist at the launch; tutorials that let you get easily started into this new challenge and prizes. Yes, also prizes, because great efforts to make one’s own project the best in its category deserves to be recognized and receive a prize to be able to improve their projects for the next time.
Moreover, and above all, launching a Space Balloon lets you reach the edge of space and come back, with a few weekends’ effort and with a low cost, being a space challenge.
From the space balloon, with the right equipment, each participant can take photos of the black space and curvature of Earth, or a video, recorded at a high altitude.
This year we’re supporting GSBC with a number of Arduinos and we’ll tell you in a later post how the Arduinos have been used by one of the teams participating in last year’s and this year’s challenge. Stay tuned for more information!
In the meantime, for the practical information, GSBC takes place from Saturday, April 10, to Monday, April 27, 2015. Where? Have a look at the map!
by Silvia Bianchi