AstroWhale is an opensource space balloon project for anyone interested in launching space balloons. AstroWhale.com is designed to teach fundamentals of aerospace engineering by sharing technical information about building small suborbital spacecraft, launching them, retrieving data and interpreting data.

Our website is a place where teachers, students, or space enthusiasts can work together to design a suborbital spacecraft. Technical information from each mission is shared on our website. Anyone can signup and create a mission for free.

1. Register for free.
2. Read about previous missions.
3. Create your own mission.

What is the difference between a weather balloon and a space balloon?

The difference has to do with the type of payload. A weather balloon has scientific instruments to study the weather and a space balloon carries scientific instruments to study aspects of near-space. A space balloon may even carry equipment that will be used on a future spacecraft, to test it in near-space conditions.

Why are space balloons used to study space if they don’t get into orbit?

Space balloons may not make it to orbit, but can make it above 95% of earth’s atmosphere. From the edge of the atmosphere a space balloon’s payload experiences near-space conditions such as extreme weather and radiation, which is helpful for testing equipment used on a spacecraft in a cost effective way. Furthermore from the edge of the atmosphere scientific instruments are better able to obtain data from space.