Pioneer Astronautics Demonstrates New Mars Balloon Remote Inflation Technology

Pioneer Astronautics announced today that it had successfully demonstrated a new technology suitable for use as a means of automated inflation of Mars exploration balloons. The experiment, which involved the use of methanol to inflate a solar-heated balloon, took place at an altitude of 100,000 ft over Byers Colorado, on the morning of Saturday, August 26. It was witnessed by observers from Edge of Space Sciences (EOSS) which provided flight telemetry and tracking support, and Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), which funded the experiment as part of a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program.