Sixth Annual Near-Space Balloon Competition held Dec. 2-3
On Dec. 2-3, ND Space Grant held their sixth-annual Near-Space Balloon Competition (NSBC) a statewide engineering design project for North Dakota middle and high school students. There were 11 teams representing 7 towns this year, with over 70 students, teachers, and chaperones visiting UND. This was a record turnout made possible only with support from Space Studies students, STEM Ambassadors, and faculty. Unfortunately, the clouds prevented the teams from launching their balloons on Saturday morning. However, SPST student volunteers improvised and led a fun morning of engaging tours for all of the participants showing them the Human Space Flight Lab (HAB, Rovers, Suits, Simulators) and demonstrating the Total Eclipse Ground Station and balloon filling procedures. SPST students spent countless hours setting up Skalicky Hall with NDSGC, participating as judges, staying late to integrate the payloads Friday night, arriving before sunrise on Saturday, and staying late to clean Saturday afternoon. Caitlin and Marissa would like to express their sincere gratitude to all the hard-working students who dedicated countless hours preparing for this year’s NSBC. They would also like to give a great big shout-out to their fearless ballooning faculty director, Dr. Ron Fevig.