Trevecca Nazarene University

Trevecca partners with local high school for "near space" balloon launch

Trevecca Nazarene University’s Math and Science Department will be launching its 5th high altitude balloon today, Friday, April 1, 12:00 noon, on the campus of Brentwood High School. The balloon will carry an experiment created by students of Mr. Tony Grimes, a teacher at Brentwood High School.  Several Trevecca students will be on hand at BHS to help with the set up, launch, and recovery of the balloon payload.

If the balloon reaches its target altitude of 100,000 feet, it will be above 99 percent of the earth’s atmosphere where the curvature of the earth against the blackness of space is quite noticeable. Data will be streamed live via high frequency radio transmissions to our “chase van” that will continuously track the balloon’s position through GPS.

When the balloon bursts at its peak altitude, it will descend by parachute and be recovered by Trevecca students and faculty. The balloon payload will carry several cameras, as well as sensors that will measure temperature, pressure, humidity, magnetic field strength, and details of the payload acceleration and rotation throughout the flight. Students of Tony Grimes, teacher at Brentwood High School, will also contribute their own experiment for the flight.

Real-time online tracking available at the following links:

General Information on High Altitude Balloon Flights
Environment Experienced by High Altitude Balloon
•    Highest altitude of balloon – 80,000 to 120,000 feet
•    Ascent time – approximately an hour and a half.
•    Descent time – approximately 45min.
•    Ascent rate – approximately 1,000 ft/min.
•    Descent rate – 115 miles/hr (first 15-20,000 ft) then 1,000 ft/min.
•    Atmospheric composition changes with altitude. (At 100,000 ft significant amounts of ozone are present.)
•    Pressures and temperatures at peak altitude are comparable to conditions on the surface of Mars.