Shoot for the Stratosphere

“It might not work. It might not take off, or it might crash a few feet off the ground—but you’re welcome to come watch.”

Danny Bowman is not a pessimist, but he has launched enough balloons over the years to know that things do not always go as planned. In high school, he and his friends launched a balloon, constructed from balsa wood, a trash bag and birthday candles, that flew 30 feet before landing in a tree and starting a fire.

He has learned a lot in the 15 years since that first balloon launch—so much that he now participates in NASA balloon launches—but, like any good scientist, he is always skeptical of his own design and engineering.

Read the complete Carolina Story from Endeavors

Danny Bowman is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Geological Sciences. His research is funded by the National Science Foundation.

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