Near Space Education & Research

Near Space Educational and Research mission is to deliver the most integrated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education to schools.

Operating as usual


Stephen Hawking 75th Birthday Tribute

Happy 75th Birthday to Stephen Hawking. As a tribute we flew our birthday wishes at over 92,000 feet. Here is a short video from the flight.

A Tribute to Stephen Hawking's 75th Birthday. Shot at 92,000 feet by Near Space Education and Research. At the altitude our balloon bursts, the air pressure ...


Here is the drive-in theater before launch. Note: you can see the movie credits beginning to play on the screen.


Yesterday we launched a "drive-in theater" into near space. So the first ever movie played in near space is ....."Plan 9 from Outer Space". Launched from the Idaho-Oregon border on Hwy 95 and landed south of the Boise Airport.

[10/08/16]   We are launching a special payload tomorrow morning - 6:00 AM. A world first! Your can monitor the flight at

[05/13/16]   Launch site tomorrow is Jordan Valley at 9:00am. Projected landing site is south of Kuna, ID.

[05/12/16]   We will be doing two launches this Saturday. One for a group of students in Boise and another for Cascade Middle School. We will know more about the launch site and potential landing site on Friday as we get better weather data. If interested in attending the launch and chase let us know.


Successful launch this morning for the Treasure Valley Math & Science Center. We launched from Hobble Creek Park in Boise and recovery was Southwest of Kuna, in field owned by a science teacher at Columbia High School, so we might have found another school to lunch for. Launch 147.

[05/16/15]   We will be launching again this coming Saturday May 23rd in Treasure Valley. As usual, winds will determine the exact launch site.

[05/04/15]   The next launch is a three balloon launch in Ellensburg, WA the Saturday for schools in Bellevue, WA.


Launch and recovery went well, except it seems like we land in pretty inaccessible spots. We'd like to thank the Boise Rotary Club for their financial support for this launch. If you business or organization would like to support a launch we can send your logo, item or mascot up on a flight.

[05/02/15]   Launch tomorrow (May 2nd). We are meeting to go to the launch site at the McDonalds on Eagle & I-84 at 7:30am. Launch site will be near Mt. Home, with recovery near Fairfield, ID.

[04/25/15]   We will be launching two balloons tomorrow from near Richland, WA.

[04/12/15]   We have three launches coming up. First on April 25 we will be launching two balloons for the Richland, WA school district. Then on May 2nd we will be launch locally for a school in Cascade, ID. This launch is being sponsored by the Boise Metro Rotary Club. Then one week later we will launch at least three balloons for several Middle Schools in the Bellevue, WA area. Those launches will take place from Ellensburg, WA.

Remember we meet as a group the second Saturday of the month at the Ada County Library at Five Mile and Victory. Meeting time is 11am and we meet downstairs.

[04/01/15]   We have two more launches scheduled. The first will be for a school in Richland, WA on April 25th. Then we have one on May 2nd for a school in Cascade, ID. The launch for Cascade will be somewhere in Treasure Valley due to fact that balloons and mountains don't mix well.

This launch is being sponsored by the Boise Metro Rotary Club and we and the school thanks them for their support.

[04/01/15]   The Ellensburg launch was a success. Both balloons were launch and recovered, although one of them took quite a hike. Data from the launch can be found at Paul's website at Select the Amateur Radio High Altitude Balloon link, then Data for past flights, the choose 2015.

[03/28/15]   Paul and I are in Ellensburg, WA to launch flight 149 (two balloons) for Open Windows School from Bellevue, WA.

[03/14/15]   Correction: 11am and the library is a Five mile and Victory.

[03/14/15]   Balloon meeting tomorrow (Saturday) 10am at the Ada County Library at Five mile and Amity.

[03/07/15]   Next launch will be in about three weeks for the Open Windows School out of Bellevue, WA. Launch site will be Ellensburg, WA. We will be doing another launch in April for a school in Richland, WA and then a multi-balloon launch in May for other schools in Washington. We hope to schedule a launch soon for Cascade School Dist. the students are working on their balloonsats.

Lots of opportunities to help launch and recover balloons. Contact us if interested in getting involved.

[03/07/15]   Successful launch and recovery of Flight 138. Altitude reached was around 86,000 feet. Flight time approx. 2:15 and the balloon traveled about 60 miles. Balloon traveled directly over the Boise airport at about 54,000 feet. Recovery was about 2 miles east of Simco Rd east of Boise and south of I-84. Video of launch and recovery to follow after we can get it processed.

[03/06/15]   Launch will be Saturday morning, 8:00AM from the Sand Hollow Exit (Exit 17) on I-84. The is a empty field on the North side of the exit which we've launched from before. Estimated landing side is near the Boise Stage Stop east of Boise.

[03/05/15]   We will be launching this Saturday morning. Launch location to be determined, however it will be somewhere in western Treasure Valley based on the wind predictions.

[02/25/15]   We are postponing the planned launch this Saturday due to predicted rain and snow (makes recovery difficult). We will try for Saturday March 7th for the next launch.

[02/22/15]   We had a launch failure this morning so we will attempt again next weekend. Basically we discovered that regular duct tape holds better than gorilla tape for latex balloons.

[02/22/15]   Due to winds, the launch site has been moved to Idaho City. The plan is to meet at the Burger King at the Gowen Exit at 6:00am and caravan to the launch site. The anticipated launch site will be the first parking area on the right side of the road as you enter Idaho City.

[02/21/15]   Last post should read "may" require a change in launch site.

[02/21/15]   Please stay tuned. The winds are picking up which require a change in launch sites. Check here for the latest info.

[02/20/15]   Launch this Sunday - Feb. 22nd, 8:00am. We will launch from Ola, ID from the parking lot by the Ola Community Church. Predicted landing site is South of Nampa, East of Lake Lowell.

[02/11/15]   We will be launching a balloon the morning of Sunday, Feb. 22nd for the Treasure Valley Math and Science School. More information to follow once we pick a launch site (depends on winds).

[02/11/15]   Balloon Meetings have been moved to the Ada County Library and Five Mile and Victory. Second Saturday of the month at 10AM.

[01/10/15]   The Balloon Group is meeting tomorrow 10am at the Hobby Town at Cole & Ustick.

[01/06/15]   Looks like we did reach Europe. A Ham Radio station in South Northamptonshire, England picked up an APRS transmission on the frequency we were using. This frequency is not used for APRS in Europe, only the US, so it is probably "The Spirit of Idaho".

[01/06/15]   We've now gone about 48 hours since hearing from the flight. It's possible the flight is still floating, but we are running close to the projected battery life. We will continue to monitor, but now we will begin planning for The Spirit of Idaho II taking the lessons we've learned from this flight and incorporate them into it.

We hope to have our monthly Near Space meeting this Saturday at 10am at Hobby Town - Cole and Ustick in Boise. Please attend if you can.

[01/04/15]   Sporadic APRS packets were picked up over Nova Scotia today. Based on those reports we are predicting a potential landfall over Sweden over the next 12 to 18 hours based on high altitude wind reports. Again based on where the signals were received we believe we are floating over the North Atlantic at this point.

[01/04/15]   We just received telemetry from the SPOT satellite tracker over Quebec.





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