Poster Presentation

High Altitude Ballooning in a Required Spacecraft Design Course

  • Jililan Schmidt (Missouri University of Science & Technology)
  • Donna Jennings
  • Yezad Anklesaria
  • Henry Pernicka (Missouri University of Science & Technology)


Introduction to Spacecraft Design is a required, sophomore-level design course taken by approximately 100 students per year in our Aerospace Engineering program. In order to prepare students to take on more challenging spacecraft design concepts as juniors and seniors, this course challenges students to design a simple 1U cubesat for launch on a high altitude balloon. By utilizing light-weight materials and a compact design, we are able to launch experiments from over 100 students on a single balloon each spring. The course lectures cover spacecraft subsystems, the space environment, and other considerations in designing for space applications. In the laboratory portion of the course, students work in teams of four to build their BalloonSAT, learning the basics of soldering, Arduino programming, CAD, and data analysis. This course provides students with a solid foundation for the senior-level spacecraft design course and is the starting point for many students wishing to join our satellite research team or our more advanced ballooning activities. A special section of this course was used to train our eclipse ballooning students, and in the future, we hope to continue to use this course to strengthen our high altitude ballooning program.

Keywords: Education, design

How to Cite:

Schmidt, J., Jennings, D., Anklesaria, Y. & Pernicka, H., (2024) “High Altitude Ballooning in a Required Spacecraft Design Course”, Academic High Altitude Conference 2024(2). doi:

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Published on
31 May 2024
Peer Reviewed