StratoCat is an independent source of historical data and current news on the development of stratospheric balloons for scientific research, aerospace and military applications, and commercial exploitation of near space.

Balloon launches by year

Complete list of stratospheric balloon launches by year, ordered chronologically, with flight details, specific payload, images, etc.

Balloon launches by base

Detailed information and launch logs for main balloon launch facilities including balloon bases, airports, and ships around the world.

Detailed flight reports

Ordered chronologically, detailed accounts of many balloon missions containing description of the payloads, details of the flight, pictures, videos and links to external references.


The stories that shaped scientific ballooning. Events and happenings, many of them memorable and epic, some others funny, a few curious or strange and even some tragedies.

Balloon Encyclopedia

Brief overview of those individuals, organizations, programs and events that had contributed to some extent to the development of scientific ballooning.

On this day...

Remembering every month important events and dates of scientific ballooning history

In this edition:

  • Two manned flight tests by Iwaya Giken in Japan
  • Intense and diverse flight activity by Aerostar
  • World View completes a balloon flight for NASA
  • First Balloon launch by NASA from Palestine since 2018
  • Strato Sciences 2023 launch campaign starts in Canada
  • Balloon launch campaign at Taiki by JAXA
  • New flight test of SCEYE's stratospheric airship

Weekly Balloon News # 11 - Chinese balloon edition - March 4th, 2023


  • What kind of balloon it was?
  • Not an isolated incident, and not a "fleet" of spy balloons.
  • Previous sightings. Connecting the dots
  • The first downing using missiles? Yes and No
  • The "secret" Chinese balloon base
  • Science on the edge of reality
  • The "weather balloon" explanation 70 years later

Left: The best picture of the Chinese balloon, taken by Frank Melliere above Illinois

World Balloon News is a somewhat regular bulletin containing balloon-related news of what's going on in the field, some speculation (fancy term for "insider data" from sources I can’t reveal), historical images, and details about the new contents that week after week enrich this humble project.

Balloons in flight (updated 30-Aug-2023 - 09:13:08am)

Launched fromIn flight sincePayload or experimentLast known status
 Hurley (SD)8/15/2023THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 653STILL IN FLIGHT --> Last Known Position
 Indiantown (FL)3/2/2023THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 620The balloon completed 62 days aloft on May 3th, 2023 floating above the Atlantic Ocean near the Gulf of Guinea. Current status unknown

Last completed balloon flights (updated 30-Aug-2023 - 09:13:08am)

Launch baseDateExperimentFlight duration
 Timmins (ON)2023/8/8COMICS7 h 45 m
 Dagget (CA)2023/8/5THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 65055 m
 Hurley (SD)2023/8/1THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 879TH3 d
 Timmins (ON)2023/8/27pre-TRANSAT14 h 30 m
 Fort Sumner (NM)2023/8/27GRAPE6 h 30 m
 Dagget (CA)2023/8/11THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 64913 d 3 h
 Timmins (ON)2023/8/22HICIBAS5 h 10 m
 Dagget (CA)2023/8/5THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 64814 d 12 h
 Fort Sumner (NM)2023/8/19SALTER TEST FLIGHT5 h
 Page (AZ)2023/8/16STRATOLLITE - GRYPHON 2911 h
 Timmins (ON)2023/8/15BESAFE---
 Dagget (CA)2023/8/11THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 65215 h 45 m
 Dagget (CA)2023/8/9THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 6512 d 7 h
 Hurley (SD)2023/7/21THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 63810 d 22 h
 Taiki2023/7/9RERA #3 (Rubber balloon Experiment for Reentry capsule with thin-type Aeroshell)~ 2 h
 Taiki2023/7/8RERA #2 (Rubber balloon Experiment for Reentry capsule with thin-type Aeroshell)~ 2 h
 Hurley (SD)2023/6/28THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 6358 d 19 h
 Taiki2023/7/27GRAMS (Gamma-Ray and AntiMatter Survey)3 h 20 m
 Taiki2023/7/26MABE-2 (Mars Airplane Balloon Experiment Two)2 h
 Hurley (SD)2023/5/3THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 62883 d 8 h
 Palestine (TX)2023/7/16WHATSUP (Water Hunting Advanced Terahertz Spectrometer on a Ultra Small Platform)6 h 20 m
 Hurley (SD)2023/7/11THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 6362 d 13 h
 Hurley (SD)2023/6/21THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 63420 d 6 h
 Hurley (SD)2023/5/24THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 629 - TechLeap Prize12 d
 Hurley (SD)2023/6/20THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 63335 h
 Hurley (SD)2023/6/13THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 63148 h
 Hurley (SD)2023/6/13THUNDERHEAD FLIGHT 63243 h