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A Balloon Assisted Launch System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 27903
Amount: $549,974.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 1996
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
12001 Network Blvd., Suite 200
San Antonio, TX 78249
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 John R. Crenshaw
 (210) 690-3400
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution

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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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