Global Space Balloon Challenge

Global Space Balloon Challenge

We’ve been hard at work, at first on the PLA Falcon, which we scrapped after the ground firing test test proved that the combustion of sugar and potassium nitrate is enough to melt plastic. We’ve also been working on a drone sized solar plane known as the Sundrake. However we’ve temporarily suspended work on this project to focus on something, else, the subject of this post.


June Sky has decided to enter the Global Space Balloon Challenge, a contest that encourages the creation and use of high altitude weather balloons. The challenge is endorsed by schools such as MIT and the University of Michigan and over 60 teams submitted entries two years ago, the first year the contest ran. There are many separate contests that make up the challenge, including things like the “best designed balloon” or “longest time aloft”. Building of the success of the Gemini program, June Sky has decided to enter two capsules into the competition: an autonomous glider that returns to launch site, and an experiment measuring the growth rate of bacteria in low pressure environments.

More details will be forthcoming when the challenge begins this spring.

Best Wishes,

Joshua Derrick
Co-founder and Chief Engineer
“Wake up and smell the science”