47 votes
Accepted

When will we send floating probes to Venus?

When will we send? We already did. In 1985 and 1986 the Soviet Union sent two Vega probes to Venus. Both included a robotic balloon (usually called aerobots). The two balloon aerobots were ...
Ginasius's user avatar
  • 920
35 votes

When will we send floating probes to Venus?

Why are people so fascinated about Mars and not about Venus at all? The trivial answer - Mars is moderate place. A human could easily get around with a spacesuit, and it is trivial for robots and ...
Fattie's user avatar
  • 1,614
25 votes

A balloon in the Venus atmosphere?

The Soviet Union actually deployed balloons on Venus, so I assume they studied them before that. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vega_program#Balloon
Organic Marble's user avatar
16 votes

When will we send floating probes to Venus?

No, there is no space race to Mars. The original space race was to orbit, for entirely military reasons. Sputnik was simply a demonstration of "we can drop a nuke anywhere we want, any time". The ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 1,932
16 votes
Accepted

A balloon in the Venus atmosphere?

Was there any proposal or study for a balloon in the Venus atmosphere? Yes and kudos to OrganicMarble's power of deductive reasoning! I am sure there have been several proposals or studies of this. ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
15 votes
Accepted

Did Echo 2 remain spherical without requiring gas pressure? If so, how is this known to be true?

TLDR: "inflation" really isn't the issue, because the outside pressure and aerodynamic loads were so low. The Echo series were deliberately-leaky balloons that carried sublimating solids that would ...
Bob Jacobsen's user avatar
  • 12.6k
11 votes
Accepted

Was a commercial (ad) balloon satellite ever deployed?

Yes, this was done during the EO-21 mission via a spacewalk from Mir in May 1996. The deployment was filmed (or videotaped) for use in a TV commercial. The balloon was not intended to be visible ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
10 votes

At what altitude would I have to go in a lighter than air balloon to be above all wind and just have the earth rotate underneath me?

The question contains a misconception - wind is the movement of the atmosphere relative to the surface. So if you are at an altitude with no wind, you'll be stationary relative to the surface - the ...
pericynthion's user avatar
  • 10.1k
10 votes

Could a balloon or airplane launched rocket get humans into orbit?

The MAKS design was supposed to do this. There is much additional info about MAKS in the answers to this question and their sources: Seeking concept art or photo of MAKS on carrier plane
Organic Marble's user avatar
9 votes

near space vacuum balloon

But would it be possible to create one that floated near space with almost no air pressure? Possibly, depending on what material(s) you use to make the balloon. If so how much could it lift? what ...
Dan Pichelman's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Current situation with CoCom regulations and GPS receivers for balloons and cubesats

There is a standard clause included in all GPS receiver manuals regarding COCOM Limits. I cannot find the source of this clause, but since it is worded exactly the same in all the manuals I could find,...
called2voyage's user avatar
  • 23.7k
9 votes
Accepted

How long would a blimp last in Venusian atmosphere at an altitude of 65 km?

So far, we have only two actual examples of balloons deployed into Venusian atmosphere, the two Vega program balloons from June 1985. They were identical in design, 3.4 m diameter helium filled ...
TildalWave's user avatar
  • 75.9k
9 votes

Is the "airship to orbit" mission profile feasible?

I think it's possible that the airship can go hypersonic which is already a major achievement if it does. If they can reach Mach 12 then it could be combined with momentum exchange tether assist to ...
Robert Walker's user avatar
7 votes

Is it possible to put something small in orbit with a balloon?

You can get things to the edge of space with a balloon fairly easily (in fact quite a few people have done this as amateur science projects) but getting into a stable orbit is an entirely different ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Why is this rocket transparent, and why is there a nozzle in the nose, pointing up?

That is a model of a Vanguard nosecone / third stage with an "IGY magnetometer satellite" at the top. The sphere is the "Sub-Satellite", a precursor of Project Echo. Sad ending: It blew up in the ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Maximum height for a Mars Balloon?

In September of 2013, JAXA launched an $80,\!000\,\mathrm{m^3}$ zero-pressure Helium balloon from Hokkaido1. It reached a float altitude of $53.7\,\mathrm{km}$. From the ICAO 1993 Standard ...
Mark Adler's user avatar
  • 58.1k
7 votes
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How long can a high altitude balloon fly before a meteor hits it?

Here's a rough estimate. From the curves at top left of the plot in figure 1 in this paper, we can expect on average, per year per million km2 of earth surface, 4.5 meteors, weighing 31 grams ("log m"...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
6 votes

Is it possible to reach space using home-made rocket?

Although it stretches the definition of home made, JP Aerospace is a very small company run by John Powell. They started out attempting just that. Their current plan is to build an airship that is a ...
ShadoCat's user avatar
  • 910
6 votes

Power supply for (30km stratosphere) school's High Altitude Balloon project

"Primary" (non-rechargeable) lithium AA batteries are the popular choice for amateur high altitude balloon projects. Not too expensive, good energy density and they hold up well under low temperature ...
pericynthion's user avatar
  • 10.1k
6 votes

Temperatures in "near" space compared to LEO

A vacuum is a pretty good insulator, much better than the air at the altitudes balloons operate at.
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 127k
6 votes

At what altitude would I have to go in a lighter than air balloon to be above all wind and just have the earth rotate underneath me?

A balloon cannot ascend above the entire atmosphere. The balloon's buoyancy decreases with height until you're at an equilibrium. The current record is 53 km. At that altitude, you still get wind: ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 127k
6 votes
Accepted

How to make a camera survive in (near) space?

I've used a stock GoPro on a high altitude balloon that made it to 40 km, it recorded the whole way up and down (on external power). So depending on your mass and financial budget you could use this ...
PeteBlackerThe3rd's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What would it take for a balloon to reach an altitude of 65 km (214,000 ft) above the Earth's sea level?

High-altitude ballooning is kind of a gray area as far as space exploration goes, because they can't leave the atmosphere, but they do go high enough to experience space-like conditions (e.g. the ...
Greg's user avatar
  • 4,297
6 votes

A balloon in the Venus atmosphere?

Yes. Here's a recent proposal, Calypso, which involves a balloon in the high atmosphere lowering a probe beneath the cloud layer. The probe would be drawn up to cool off when it starts to overheat: ...
jamesqf's user avatar
  • 607
5 votes

near space vacuum balloon

The problem with coming up with an answer based on dimensional analysis is that you are asking about a balloon with an internal pressure lower than the external pressure, and the failure modes include ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes

Building a ultra-small almost space vehicle

You will have quite a challenge to get to 50 km with a balloon or reasonable sized rocket. Even weather balloons don't hit those altitudes. Probably one of the best places to start for this kind of ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 851
5 votes

Maximum height for a Mars Balloon?

What is the pressure at 53 km above Earth and what is the height above Mars with the same pressure? According to Wolfram Alpha, the pressure on Earth at 53km is 55 Pascals compared to 100,000 Pa at ...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 8,006
5 votes

High altitude balloon + rocket

To a first approximation, space launch to orbit is speed, not altitude. Your balloon would supply no speed to speak of. Your rocket would have to supply about 8 km/sec to get into a low Earth orbit, ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

How were the Vega balloons deployed?

In English - http://mentallandscape.com/V_Vega.htm The aerostat was stowed in a toroidal compartment fastened to the cap section of the spherical reentry vehicle, fitting around the lander's ...
A. Rumlin's user avatar
  • 7,863

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