Budget: Below is a budget guideline to get you started. Note that some of these numbers will vary by time, location of team and variations of team projects/expectations.

Balloon/helium supplies: General ballooning supplies teams should be aware of.

  • Latex 2000g balloons (~$250/balloon). 
  • Parachute ($50-$100)
  • Regulator for helium tank ($40-$250)
  • Balloon Filling Equipment: Tubing from regulator to balloon filling ‘adapter,’ hose clamps, filling adapter (for example, a PVC pipe that attaches the balloon filling opening to the tubing from regulator), etc. ($30)
  • Helium (~$300/flight) *NOTE* Helium prices vary greatly (and have been on the rise) and there are rental fees for tanks to consider.
  • Rigging: string/rope, carabiners, ballooning tape (duct tape for example), etc. ($50)
  • Cloth gloves for handling balloon ($20)
  • Tools: Determining balloon lift, a bucket with weights for example ($30)
  • Tools: wrench for regulator, screw drivers, box cutters, etc. ($50)

General Expenses: Expenses teams should include for eclipse flight and practice flights.

  • Iridium Airtime Data Fee ~ $13/month plus data usage
  • Hot Spot Device: Internet availability is required for tracking and video upload ($30-$50 w/ 2 year contract or retail is $150-$200). *NOTE*Some cellular plans include the ability to use your cellular phone as a mobile hot spot
    • Hot Spot Plan Fees (~$60/month for 4GB)
  • Secondary payload supplies
  • Travel for the eclipse day(s) and practice flights
  • Student support

Miscellaneous: Other recommended additions teams may want to consider.

  • SPOT Tracker: The SPOT Tracker is a great backup to the Iridium system for payload recovery. Note that the SPOT tracker must be pointed ‘face up’ in order for it to communicate with GPS satellites. ($170)
  • SPOT Tracker subscription ($100/year or $9.99/month)