Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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HASP Program High-Altitude Balloon Flight

The HASP (High Altitude Student Platform) Program is an annual high-altitude balloon flight designed to provide a flight opportunity intermediate to smaller balloons and Earth-orbiting satellites. This balloon carries a large support vehicle which is designed to accommodate up to 12 compact student payloads.

The program is supported by the Louisiana Space Consortium, the NASA Balloon Program Office, and the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine, Texas, who graciously host facilities for testing and integration into the main HASP structure. The HASP balloon is launched from Fort Sumner, New Mexico shortly after the student payloads are integrated.

For a student team, this is a chance to build their own space-engineered product, fly it in the upper atmosphere of Earth, and gain technical experience doing so. For an undergraduate student, seeing their work on a NASA project is a very exciting thing.

The University of Minnesota has applied for a spot on HASP the past 3 years. The HASP program has been developing a low-cost, low-power X-ray detector (coupled with other sensors) capable of identifying celestial sources of radiation, such as pulsars, as navigation beacons. This concept started initially as a graduate student's thesis project, but has evolved in recent years thanks to continued student involvement and industry support.

Below is a short clip from the 2014 HASP flight. The payload is out of the frame, but the footage is of the HASP balloon at around 120,000 feet.

Last Modified: 2015-01-08 at 13:29:18 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation