Explorer is the first balloon ever to be made in the history of SFSA. The balloon is made out of tissue paper. There is a metal frame at the bottom to make the shape of the balloon made from thin steel wire.

The fuel that has been selected is the fire starter. After lots of tests on different types of fuel and different amounts of fuel, the results point to the fire starter in 5 or more grams. The tests considered the temperature of the burn, the duration of the burn, and the flame height.



Flight Report

Flight 1

On June 21, 2015, the Balloon Explorer was launched for the first time. Explorer was the first balloon to be launched from the Sioux Falls Space Association. Explorer had 5 Grams of fuel in it, but when we tried to launch it, the fuel fell out of the balloon. We then continued on and put 10 Grams of fuel in the balloon. This worked much better. The fuel was lit, and was beginning to heat up the balloon, although about 5 minutes into the flight, the side of the balloon caught fire. The fire spread rapidly, and the entire balloon caught fire. To solve this problem, we are going to need a larger balloon. If the sides are farther apart, then there is a smaller chance that the balloon will catch on fire.