John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences

News and information from the UND John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

Academic High Altitude Conference 2014

June 23-27, 2014, the University of North Dakota hosted the 5th Annual Academic High Altitude Conference.  The focus of this national conference is on the technical aspects, research possibilities, and educational benefits of high altitude ballooning.  The first two days included both a technical and educator’s workshop, followed by conference presentations and discussion sessions the remainder of the week.  A high altitude balloon launch also took place on Friday morning, launching payloads from the educator’s workshop and from the statewide middle and high school ballooning competition, NSBC (Near-Space Balloon Competition.)  Keynote speakers this year included: Matthew Nelson, President and Co-Founder of the Stratospheric Ballooning Association, Angela Des Jardins, Director of Montana Space Grant Consortium, and banquet guest speaker Don Day, Chief Meteorologist for Felix Baumgartner’s record breaking high altitude jump.


Participants included college students, teachers, professors, and researchers in the ballooning community from across the US and Canada.  The conference was a collaborative effort by the Department of Space Studies at UND, the John D. School of Aerospace Sciences, the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium, and the Stratospheric Ballooning Association.  A special thank you is due to this year’s sponsors: The University of North Dakota School of Graduate Studies and the University of North Dakota Office of Vice President for Research & Economic Development.  Thank you to all who participated and assisted in making this year’s conference a success!

Conference Attendees:


Launch preparations:


View from Northwood Middle School Payload: