Far Horizons began in 2006 by Dr. Geza Gyuk and Dr. Mark Hammergren at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. Since that time we've grown and gained experience with more than 60 stratospheric high altitude balloon (HAB) flights. Our missions involve hands on participation from middle school students, high schoolers, undergrads, adult volunteers and scientific researchers.
Part of our larger goal is to help anyone of any experience level interested in exploring near space to get off the ground with their own missions. We believe, "Anyone can do this". Over the years we've compiled a wealth of resources that can provide valuable information and tools for anyone interested in HAB missions. From the merely curious to the experienced HAB-er, our Do-It-Yourself HAB'ing pages should make any flight a more successful and valuable experience.
Here is a storehouse for active and recent Far Horizon projects. Every near space flight involves a range of scientific and engineering challenges. Over the past 7+ years the Far Horizons team has designed a wide range of scientific experiments and flight components. We recently began a more thorough means of documenting the stages and processes involved with those experiments. On our Project Page you'll find proposed, working and completed projects from the last couple of years. We hope they can help to inspire your own projects or help to build them from our experience. If you have some suggestions, experience or improvements on any of our projects, we'd like to hear from you. DIY space exploration is a group effort.
HAB missions can be valuable tool in the world of real research. Going back to Victor Hess 100 years ago discovering the cosmic origins of cosmic rays from a hot air balloon and the discovery and characterization of the Earth's radiation belts by James Van Allen from rockets launched from a HAB (he dubbed, Rockoons) back in the 50s, HAB missions offer a chance for authentic and valuable scientific research. Using our experience and professional connections as researchers, we've begun to work with scientists and aerospace engineers to develop projects where the years of Far Horizons experience can benefit the future. On the Science Partnerships page you'll find information about these projects and what we can offer researchers.
The internet is big... really big! And scattered among the nooks and crannies of servers around the world are a wealth of valuable information for anyone interested in DIY space exploration. On the Reference Library page we strive to organize a library of links and documents on subjects touching on many aspects of people-powered space exploration from HABs to Rockoons, from the atmospheric science to rockets. If you can't find it here, let us know. Tell us about a link or we'll try and track down the info.