In order to undertake this grand effort, we need your help!


There is much to do. If you are interested in volunteering, please see the TechDetails wiki for Mini-Projects To-Do, and contact


These flights are too expensive for the project team members to bootstrap on their own. So to fund the project, we are seeking private donations for these flights. Please consider a small (or large, of course) donation using our Pledgie page. Or contact us at


We’d like to get some local businesses involved to help promote our project and also to help with some of the things we need could always use such as web server space, graphic design, helium, PCB fabrication, electronics parts, etc.

How much will it take?

In the style of a Frequently Asked Questions list, here is the White Star Balloon funding information.

The estimated project budget is 13200 USD, spread over October 2010 to April 2011.  Below are the project budget details.

Direct costs per flight:

  • Balloon 300 USD
  • Helium 110 USD
  • Satellite Radio 170 USD
  • Communications 100 USD
  • Batteries 60 USD
  • Payload structures 50 USD
  • Other Electronics and parts 200 USD

Total per flight: 1090 USD

x 5 flights: 5450 USD total cost

Fixed costs:

  • Liability Insurance $7500USD
    • This is to cover costs to people and property that could be damaged by operation of the balloon
  • Per month Web hosting: 25-100 USD
    • The project will need a web service provider able to withstand a sudden onslaught of visitors when flights are in the air.   As the world learns of the flights, everyone will try to watch our website for live updates of the balloon’s progress in the air.   This web server would dissapear from the internet, crushed under that load.

So by early November, 2010, in order to launch the first test balloon in late November/early December, we need to raise 2430 USD:

  • the first 50% of the 5 balloon envelopes cost, 750 USD
  • the first and second flight’s non-balloon costs: 1580 USD
  • The first two months of web service: 100 USD

By late November, 2010 we need to raise an additional: 8520 USD

  • the second 50% of the 5 balloons cost, 750 USD*** (this is now covered by a buyer we found to split the order with us)
  • the insurance $7500

Spread from January through April: 2520 USD

  • three flights non-balloon cost: 2370 USD
  • Web hosting costs: 150 USD

End total amount: 13200 USD