SEDS-USA has partnered with the Global Space Balloon Challenge to bring teams the “Best Space Technology Demonstration” Prize!

The Global Space Balloon Challenge (GSBC) is the coming together of people around the world to simultaneously fly high altitude balloons from every corner of the globe, celebrating an age where anyone can reach the edge of space for a few hundred dollars and a few weekends of work. By providing a specified launch window (April 10-27, 2015) and central online platform, the GSBC enables teams to showcase their unique cultures while working together to educate the next generation and push the boundaries of what is technologically feasible.

The high altitude balloon environment is a great place to test out new ideas and concepts for hardware to be used in space before it is actually flown on an expensive rocket or satellite. Example ideas include how to ignite rockets in a near vacuum, satellite communication or power systems, or whether a specific electronics component survives temperature swings and radiation. This prize will reward the team that best uses their HAB to demonstrate a novel space technology.

Requirements for Eligibility

  1. All teams that wish to compete for the best space technology demonstration must fulfill the GSBC’s “Rules for Participation”
  2. Teams must write a report [5 pages max] in English describing the technology flown, how the technology could be used on a current or future space mission, the testing done on a HAB flown during the GSBC, and the work that remains to finalize and prove the technology before flight to space.

In an appendix to your report, feel free to include any other information to show that this was indeed your flight and was launched during the GSBC timeframe, such as organized GPS strings, your APRS call sign, pictures of the set up, pictures from the launch day, or pictures from the flight.

This prize includes four Platinum Passes to the SATELLITE 2016 conference as well as a $500 cash prize.

Judging Criteria

The top submissions will be given to a panel of judges who will then rank the submissions and determine a winner. All judging will be done based on the Best Space Technology Demonstration Prize Rubric.

Please see the “Get Involved” page of the GSBC website for more information.

Onwards and upwards!


Congratulations to the 2014 High Altitude Balloon (HAB) Challenge winners!

1st Place: University of Buffalo, characterizing radio noise to improve CubeSat communications.
2nd Place: University of Central Florida, exploring the effects of radiation on 3D printed plastics.
3rd Place: University of Arizona, testing the plausibility near-space payload solar power generation.The 5 finalists conducted high altitude balloon experiments measuring a range of technical and environmental factors. Designing, building, and flying an experiment to the edge of space is no easy feat, but these teams all flew successful experiments and created professional posters to present their team’s work.