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Balloon Launch

Student Satellite Initiatives

Elijah Balloon Launch Fellowship Program
Announcement of Opportunity 2017-2018

Applications Open: January 6, 2017
Submission Deadline:
February 20, 2017
Award Announcements: April 7, 2017
Work Period:  May 1, 2017 - May 15, 2018

Elijah Balloon Launch Fellowship Program Announcement of Opportunity

Purpose:  The Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC) is looking for four (4) full-time students from any affiliate member institution majoring in a science or engineering discipline to join the launch team of our high-altitude balloon project, Elijah.

*$3,000 stipend per student fellowship.    * Based on availability of funds.

Program:  The Student Satellite Initiative is an innovative NASA project that provides students an opportunity to fly science experiments in a near-space environment.  Student teams will design and build payloads to be launched and retrieved from a high-altitude balloon that will ascend up to 100,000 feet or more.  Selected teams will design and build science experiments to fly in this environment, assist in the launch of their satellite, track and chase the balloon as it traverses, and retrieve it upon landing. 

To Apply:  To apply for this fellowship, you must a) register online and b) apply online. 

Application Requirements: To apply for this Student Satellite Initiatives Research Fellowship, you must register online at and meet the following minimum requirements:

  • U.S. citizen
  • At least a Sophomore standing as of Fall 2017 and must be enrolled through May 2018 (Students enrolled in a two-year program who declare their plan to be enrolled at a WSGC Affiliate University at the end of their sophomore year are also eligible to apply)
  • Enrolled at a WSGC college or university
  • Majoring in a science or engineering discipline
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA (Proposals that include a GPA of less than 2.5 will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis)
  • A strong interest in the success of the project.  Motivation is more important than experience, with self-motivation and ability to complete work with minimal supervision being absolutely critical.
  • Interviews will be scheduled individually; every effort will be made to schedule interviews at the applicant’s home campus or via a phone conversation.

Supporting Materials Required with Application:

  1. Letter of Interest
  2. Resume
  3. Two faculty references (Names, Emails, and Phone Numbers)

 See Tools & Tips for more information on how to create business correspondence and a resume.

Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium invites applications for the Student Satellite Initiatives Elijah Balloon Launch Fellowship Program for the 2017-2018 academic year. Application forms must be completed and be accompanied by supporting documentation. WSGC especially encourages applications from members of minority groups, women, and persons with disabilities.  Internships will be awarded on the basis of academic performance, experience, and demonstration of commitment to the project. The diverse scientific and engineering needs of the team will also be considered.

Current and Past Award Recipients

Work period: The WSGC estimates that each selected student will spend an average of approximately 1-2 hours per week on this project (with the bulk of this time clustering around launch dates), plus six days for training workshops and launch days. Students will be launch team members for the period from approximately May 1, 2017 to May 15, 2018, committing to approximately 3-4 Elijah Balloon launches to be scheduled mutually by the launch and science payload teams. Launch team members will attend a 1-2 day training workshop in February, March, or April of 2017 weather permitting, then run such a training workshop in February, March, or April of 2018.  Launch team members will present their results at the Annual Wisconsin Space Conference to be held at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI in August 2017.

Location:  Meetings of the team will take place in either Milwaukee or Kenosha, Wisconsin, but because much of the internship work may be done off-site, students from any location are encouraged to apply.  Students must be able to provide their own transportation.

Award Acceptance Components:  As part of the award acceptance, you will be asked to attend the Annual Wisconsin Space Conference in August 2017 and submit the following documents on the WSGC website under Program Applications/Your Applications:

  • Award Acceptance Letter
  • W9
  • Media Release Form
  • One-Paragraph Biography
  • Professional Photo
  • Interim Report
  • Present project at the Annual Wisconsin Space Conference in August
  • Submit a Proceeding Paper by Sept. 15th to the Proceedings of the Wisconsin Space Journal
  • Final Report

If you have questions about the Elijah Balloon Launch Program, please contact:

William Farrow, Ph.D., P.E.

Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium
Associate Director for Student Satellite Initiatives

Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium
Carthage College
2001 Alford Park Drive, Kenosha WI 53140
Phone: 262-551-6054

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 This funding opportunity is made available for the pursuit of space-related research and/or activities through the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program: NASA Training Grant #NNX15AJ12H. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number for this award is 43.008.

All awards are fully competitive awards of opportunity in which applications are reviewed by the WSGC Technical Advisory Panel and other experts as needed. Awards are made by the Assistant Director based on recommendations from the Associate Director.



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