NASA is accepting applications from graduate and undergraduate university students to fly experiments to the edge of space on a scientific balloon next year.
The balloon competition is a joint project between NASA and the Louisiana Space Consortium in Baton Rouge.
NASA is targeting fall 2013 for the next flight opportunity for the High Altitude Student Platform. HASP is a balloon-borne instrument stack that provides an annual near-space flight opportunity for 12 instruments built by students.
A panel of experts from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and LaSPACE will review the applications and select the finalists for the next flight opportunity. Flights are launched from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility’s remote site in Fort Sumner, N.M., and typically achieve 15 to 20 hours’ duration at an altitude of about 23 miles.
HASP houses and provides power, mechanical support, interactivity and communications for the instruments. It can be used to flight-test compact satellites, prototypes and other small payloads designed and built by students.
HASP can support about 200 pounds for payloads and test articles. Since 2006, the HASP program has flown 60 payloads involving more than 500 students from 14 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.
The deadline for applications for the 2013 flight is Dec. 14. A question-and-answer teleconference for interested parties will be held Nov. 16.
For application materials and details about HASP, visit http://laspace.lsu.edu/hasp.