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.


The details of the 2014 HAB Challenge can be found below:


The Students for the Exploration and Development of Space challenges you to design, build, and fly a high altitude balloon carrying a unique payload under an extremely short timeline. This challenge serves to engage members at a local level and build experience dealing with near-space flight hardware, working with an interdisciplinary team, and deadline-dependent deliverables.


  • The challenge is simple – build a less than 6 lb. payload to fly on a weather balloon.
  • The timeline is short – All payloads must launch prior to May 31st, 2014.
  • The winners will be creative – Three teams will be selected based on the novelty of their payloads as shown with a poster that can presented at the SpaceVision Conference. The first place team will win 5 registrations for SpaceVision 2014.

The 2014 competition outline can be found below:
HAB Competition Outline




Project Manager

Christopher Nie


Chris Nie is a graduate student studying Aerospace Engineering Sciences with a focus in Bioastronautics at the University of Colorado Boulder.

In the past he has worked at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA’s Johnson Space Center, working in systems engineering, spacecraft habitability, and robotics.

Currently, he is a research assistant developing and operating scientific payloads for use on the International Space Station.