Stratospheric balloons

Did you know?

Fact number 1

The volume of the largest open stratospheric balloons used by Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) can be up to 1,200,000 m3.

Fact number 2

The height of a deployed balloon, including the flight chain, is about 300 m, about half as tall as the CN Tower.

Fact number 3

The envelope alone can be as high as a 35-floor building, or the height of the tower of Montreal's Olympic Stadium; and its diameter is equivalent to the size of 2 hockey rinks or 2 Airbus A-340s.

Fact number 4

The area of the envelope, if deployed flat, is equivalent to approximately 8 soccer fields.

Fact number 5

For more information on other types of balloons, visit the following website: www.cnes.fr/web/CNES-fr/8510-differents-types-de-ballons.php (French only).

Canada's stratospheric balloon program was scaled back about a decade ago for budgetary reasons. Recently, France had to seek out new mid-latitude site for balloon launches and recovery because of Europe's heavy population density. Thus, in 2011, through a Franco-Canadian collaboration, the Canadian Space Agency's (CSA) Balloon Program known as Stratos was created.

Preparation of a balloon launch

This video demonstrates the different steps involved in the preparation of a stratospheric balloon launch. The images were filmed at the Timmins Stratospheric Balloon Base, in Ontario, Canada. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

Stratos: the Canadian Space Agency Stratospheric Balloon Program

This video explains the Canadian Space Agency's Stratospheric Balloon Program, Stratos, and its benefits to Canada. The images were taken during the first balloon campaign in 2013 that took place in Timmins, Ontario, Canada.