Students at Durham Technical Community College have been cleared to support aerospace engineers at NASA through a program that is truly out of this world.

The High Altitude Student Platform launches every year from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility with assistance from the NASA Balloon Office Program.

One of the payloads scheduled to travel into the stratosphere with that platform this fall is under development by a team of students based at Durham Tech.

Those students are currently tinkering with a device intended to collect sulfur dioxide and atmospheric gas as the platform climbs to 23 miles above ground level.

That device will be accompanied during the launch by 11 other payloads from applicants at institutions that include Arizona State University and Renert School.

A test run for all payloads will occur this week at the Goddard Space Flight Center to ensure that objectives from NASA will be met during the launch in September.

HASP had its initial launch in 2006 and serves as a way for NASA to address workforce development issues while promoting aerospace careers among students.

Photo by NASA.