On June 23rd, we had our first Mission Near Space (MNS) camp of the year. Each MNS camp is a full week session for 6th–10th graders. They first learn about high-altitude ballooning and the near-space environment, then devise their own experiments to put on the balloon payload, and finally participate in the balloon launch and recovery near the latter part of the week. The week ends with a showcase in which participants present their exploration results to family members.
A total of 16 campers participated in this first 2016 MNS camp, and it was an overall resounding success. Below are clips of the balloon launch (from Koerner Aviation airport in Kankakee, IL) and the balloon burst (at ~92,000 ft).