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 Posted: July 16, 2014
Science Department to Launch BOREALIS Program
Miles Community College has been partnering with the University of Montana (UM-BOREALIS) and Montana State University (MSU-BOREALIS) to establish an on-campus BOREALIS program.  BOREALIS stands for Balloon Outreach, Research, Exploration and Landscape Imaging System.  It is Montana Space Grant Consortium’s high altitude ballooning program.  
 
There are two types of ballooning that will be a part of MCC-BOREALIS. The first is high altitude ballooning.  This type of ballooning involves the design and construction of payloads for various experiments.  These payloads will be flown up to 100,000 feet – the edge of space.  The second type of ballooning involves the launching of weather balloons.  These balloons are flown at a lower altitude.  Real time meteorological data from the weather balloons will be collected and reported using a groundstation running GRAWMET software.  This incoming meteorological data will also be available to the National Weather Stations in Billings and Glasgow.
 
The first balloon that will be launched from MCC will be a weather balloon.  To get the launch underway MCC science instructor Liz Lawrence has been working closely with UM Physics and Astronomy Education Specialist Jennifer Fowler.  Fowler will be on-campus Wednesday, July 16.  Fowler and Lawrence will be installing the software and launching the balloon.  A small group of students from UM and MCC will be assisting Fowler and Lawrence.  Lawrence hopes to have the balloon launched by 8:30am.  The launching will happen on-campus at MCC.  Lawrence has plans for the high-altitude balloon to be launched during the spring semester of 2015.  The BOREALIS program is an extra-curricular activity.  Students at MCC who are interested in transferring into science programs at UM or MSU would greatly benefit from getting involved with the ballooning program.
 
Miles Community College, located in Miles City, Montana, is a comprehensive community college that promotes student success and lifelong learning through accessible, quality programs and community partnerships.  Miles Community College offers credit programs to prepare students for transfer, was well as career and technical programs to prepare students to enter the workforce.
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