NASA is accepting applications from graduate and undergraduate university students to fly experiments to the edge of space aboard a high-altitude scientific balloon. This balloon flight competition is a joint project between NASA and the Louisiana Space Consortium (LaSPACE) in Baton Rouge, La.
NASA is targeting fall 2014 for the next flight opportunity for the LaSPACE-maintained High Altitude Student Platform (HASP). HASP is a balloon-borne instrument stack that provides an annual near-space flight opportunity for 12 undergraduate and graduate student-built instruments.
A panel of engineers from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va., and LaSPACE will review the applications and select the finalists for the next flight opportunity. Launched from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility’s remote site in Fort Sumner, N.M., HASP flights typically fly for 15 to 20 hours at an altitude of approximately 23 miles.
HASP houses and provides power, mechanical support, interfacing and communications for the instruments. It can be used to flight-test compact satellites, prototypes and other small payloads designed and built by students, and can support approximately 200 pounds of payloads and test articles. Since 2006, the HASP program has selected for flights more than 70 payloads involving more than 600 students from across the United States.
The application deadline for the flight is Dec. 20. A question-and-answer teleconference for interested parties will be held at 11 a.m. EST Nov. 15. For application materials, teleconference schedule and additional HASP details, visit laspace.lsu.edu/hasp.