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A Balloon Assisted Launch System

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1996 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Winzen Engineering, Inc.
23350 Southfork San Antonio, TX 78255-2108
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 1996
Title: A Balloon Assisted Launch System
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $549,974.00


This innovation proposes the use of a thin film stratospheric balloon to lift a launch vehicle with a payload to an altitude above most of the Earth's atmosphere, then ignite the launch vehicle rocket motor. It will have the capability to carry the payload to its final destination, either into Earth orbit or to the mission design goal. This launch system will eliminate the first stage rocket thrust normally required to overcome the atmospheric requirements. A Balloon Assisted Launch System will improve launch vehicle efficiency, save energy, reduce costs, and provide users with greater flexibility in selection of launch sites, including terrestrial and ocean surface locations. The cost effectiveness of sea launched Balloon Assisted Launch Systems versus conventional ground based systems that require standard range operations will be determined. This proposed launch system can make orbital capability available to organizations such as universities, research centers, commercial organizations, and countries that cannot effort to develop the conventional complex and expensive launch facilities.

Principal Investigator:

John R. Crenshaw

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Winzen Engineering, Inc.
12001 Network Blvd., Suite 200 San Antonio, TX 78249

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No