MICHIGAN CITY, IN -- US aerospace start-up, Rockzip Highballoons, in just 6 days has raised over 30% of the needed $15,000 from 125 crowdfunding backers to commercialize its first model of highballoons (high-altitude balloons) to be commissioned as floating space satellites.
A highballoon is a big balloon, sometimes Statue of Liberty BIG, which floats to the edge of space. These balloons can often reach over 120,000 feet in altitude, 3-4x higher than flying commercial airliners, and can float for hours, weeks and even months at a time. A highballoon, sometimes referred to as a "poor man's satellite," is considered the most inexpensive way to reach and remain in near space [The region of the Earth's atmosphere that lies between 20 to 100 km (65,000 and 328,000 feet) above sea level].
Rockzip's mission is to improve life on Earth by giving people a new angle from which to solve age-old problems. The rugged and inexpensive highballoons will be flown by students and entrepreneurs alike, creating a myriad of diverse applications to better Mother Earth and further human space exploration. Current applications include spreading internet access to remote parts of the world (Google.com/loon), testing rocket components (NASA Mars Lander "Flying Saucer" test), and clocking wind conditions inside giant hurricanes (Hurricane Irene).
Much like Henry Ford revolutionized and popularized the automobile through automated production and quality standards, Rockzip will revolutionize the highballoon industry. Currently, high-altitude balloons are expensive, largely handmade-to-order devices with little industry standardization or efficient manufacturing methods. Soon they will be accessible to the masses at very affordable prices, nearly 50% less than current comparable highballoon offerings.
Full WSBT 22 South Bend, Indiana TV news story and write-up can be found at: http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/want-to-launch-a-highaltitude-balloon-into-space/27452070
Learn more about the technical specs, how millions of highballoons will float the skies, and how they can change the world at Rockzip's full Kickstarter page. Additional videos, stories and pictures can be found at: http://kck.st/1sSGy6c