High Altitude Balloon Team launch tops 107,000 feet

On an overcast spring afternoon, a high-altitude balloon and its payload returned to Earth in an alfalfa field approximately 16 miles west-northwest of Sebeka, Minn.

The payload recovery marked the end of an April 9 experiment conducted by students from Bemidji State University and Central Lakes College, located in Brainerd, Minn. The students were members of a joint High Altitude Balloon Team, funded by a NASA Space Grant to Bemidji State and by contributions from both participating schools.

Starting from a location near Ada, Minn., the team launched a helium-filled latex balloon, similar to a weather balloon, carrying payload sensors, radio transmitters and cameras to a height of 107,784 feet — 20.5 miles into the sky — before it safely returned to Earth approximately 100 miles away.

Bemidji State’s balloon team students work with Dr. Tim Kroeger, professor of environmental, Earth and space studies, and Dr. John Truedson, professor of physics and chair of BSU’s Department of Physics.

The Central Lakes students on the team are under the direction of Yoshi Hirai, physics faculty, and Dave Kobilka, Earth science faculty.

For more information about the High Altitude Balloon Team, contact Tim Kroeger, professor of environmental, earth and space studies, at (218) 755-2783.


Bemidji | 56601 | Dan Krueger, senior, science education
Bemidji | 56601 |  Kyle Mason, senior, elementary education
Bemidji | 56601 | Mike Reeves, junior, science education

Bigfork | 56628 | Joseph Jacobson, junior, science education
Roseau | 56751 | Eric Massaro, junior, science education
Tenstrike | 56683 | Emily Dufseth, senior, biology
Warren | 56762 | Lacey Riopelle, senior, elementary education

Orland Park | 60462 | Dan Christensen, senior, science education