EDIT 4/19/2011 Funding target reduced to reflect the omission of $7000 insurance and 4 of 5 flights. – DB
The LVL1 White Star Trans-Atlantic Balloon team’s goal is to send an amateur-made, small, robotic balloon across the Atlantic Ocean and land somewhere over there on dry land. No amateur balloon has ever done this. The farthest amateur flight so far sank just 200 miles short of Ireland â€“ tantalizingly close, but no cigar.
We will be attempting multiple flights to reach this goal, spaced when there are cohesive jet stream opportunities from December of this year to April of next year. Weâ€™ll be doing a short, but high, flight test on October 9th. This test is to exercise the launch team and raise funds for the 4 to 5 Trans-Atlantic flights we predict will be necessary to refine the system and make it across. These jet-stream sailing balloons are actually quite complex, and require a few expensive parts. Still though, each flight of the White Star will be cheaper than most airline seats across the pond!
One of the single, largest expenses in the project are the zero-pressure balloon envelopes. 3000 USD gets us a minimum order quantity of 10 balloons. We need your help! Your contribution is vital to the success of the project.
All in LVL1 and the public are invited to participate or spectate as desired. There will be lots to do, and lots to see over the next few months. Check our website for more details, including the details of the budget: http://WhiteStarBalloon.com and follow #WhiteStarBall on Twitter and http://FaceBook.com/white-star-balloon for updates.