Students Get Near Space Without Leaving Ground

Tulsa Community College students in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Projects class ended the semester with near space ballooning in Hutchison, Kan. at the Great Plains Super Launch in June. Several other schools, researchers and hobbyists attended the event.

The group worked together to launch a balloon carrying a payload with data-gathering tools and cameras to 101,000 feet. Amazing photos and videos of this and other near space ballooning events can be found on its website.

TCC students Dallas Elleman, Justin Wollmann, Travis Moore, and Bobby Larson made the trip with advisers Thomas Henderson, Mary Phillips and Lance Phillips.

After the balloon traveled to near space, it dropped and the group used computer modeling software to track and position themselves 200 yards from the drop site where they collected the payload.

Photo caption: Advisers and students prepare to launch the near space balloon in Kansas. Watch how the process works in this video from National Geographic.