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Minn. Unit's High-Altitude Balloon Reaches 95,000 Feet

May 22, 2019

A Southeast Minnesota Composite Squadron team launched a high-altitude balloon that climbed 95,000 feet and traveled 88 miles away. Team members for the project, part of the Global Space Balloon Challenge, were Maj. Othelmo Da Silva, squadron commander; 2nd Lt. Eric Pool, project officer; and Cadet Airmen Micah Bergen, Joseph Meyer and Richard Sylak.

“This is a great example of the variety of topics within the aerospace education area," Da Silva said. "It is really thrilling to think that our balloon reached an altitude higher than even the highest-flying airplane can achieve.

“This project was a practical application of scientific principles: Design the experiment, collect the data (altitude, temperature, pressure, the images) and share the data with the global community.”

For more about the project, read the full story on

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