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National CAP Cadet High Altitude Balloon Challenge


Is YOUR squadron participating in the 2021 National CAP Cadet High Altitude Balloon (HAB) Challenge?  The Participating CAP Teams are working with the company, StratoStar, to develop their science experiment(s) to be launched in one of two national CAP HABs in the IN Wing in late August.

The Challenge has several projects to be submitted for judging for the ultimate Col Kittinger Cup and a $5,000 award grant (specific timeline is found on StratoStar's CAP landing page):

  1. Selection of one or more science experiments to insert in the SHARE capsule sent by StratoStar.

  2. A description slide for each experiment included in the capsule.

  3. One short 2-3 minute video made by the cadets of (all) the science experiment(s) included in the capsule.

  4. A hand drawn and/or digital Mission Patch for the squadron to be submitted electronically.

  5. A culmination 4-5 minute video made by the cadets that describes the entire Challenge process and the included experiments, the results of the experiments after the HAB launch, how the Challenge was beneficial to the cadets, how learning about Col Kittinger was of value to the cadets, and what the squadron would do with a $5,000 grant, if it was won with the Col Kittinger Cup.

  • The National CAP Cadet HAB Challenge Opening Event was recorded to give cadets an idea of what to expect and what they can do.  This video can be shown to the cadets during a squadron meeting to prepare for the program! 

  • If a squadron is interested in participating, please contact Susan Mallett at, to determine if a slot is open.  

The National CAP High Altitude Balloon Challenge Ambassador is Col Joe Kittinger. USAF (ret), famed high altitude balloon aeromedical scientist (and more).  See his info on the StratoStar CAP HAB Challenge page (and below)!


Col Kittinger has offered to present a "Col Kittinger Cup" and $5,000 award grant to the squadron that completes all aspects of the Challenge with the highest scores as determined by a panel of judges.   

Col Kittinger is a former fighter pilot and aeromedical high altitude researcher, amongst many other things. 

  • Col Kittinger is the first man to have traveled to space and the first to see the curvature of the earth from space!  See the video of his famed high altitude jump and the benefits to aerospace HERE. (2 min)

  • See the record-breaking Red Bull Stratos high altitude balloon jump with Col Kittinger as the consultant, guide, and commentator for Felix Baumgartner 's jump HERE. (8:22 min)

  • See Col Kittinger's interview for this National CAP HAB Challenge HERE. (57 min)


  • Col Joe Kittinger's autobiography, Come Up and Get Me!

  • Col Kittinger will be viewing the actual launch from Orlando, FL, and will be a commentator during that live event.  Orlando area CAP cadets and Sr members will be invited to join him.


Want to try a VR experience???  Check out the Discovery VR video (using StratoStar HAB launch), Journey to the Edge of Space 360!



CAP National High Altitude Balloon Challenge Team Members:


Cap Bob Roberts, SC Wing Director of Aerospace Education, AE YouTube Channel founder, and National CAP HAB Project Lead


Jason Krueger, StratoStar founder and CAP HAB Project StratoStar Lead  


Susan Mallett, CAP National HQ, National CAP HAB Project Coordinator









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