Up, Up and Away In Balloons

Up, up, and away in


Would you like to ride in a hot air balloon? Ever wonder how they fly? Do stray balloons really travel up to space? In this issue of Little Clickers, we ‘soared’ around the Internet to answer these questions and more.

How do Hot Air Balloons work?

At http://www.eballoon.org/balloon/how-it-works.html you learn that hot air balloons are based on a very basic scientific principle: warmer air rises in cooler air. This site has a lot of general information about the sport of hot air ballooning.






If you held onto a few hundred helium-filled balloons, could you really take off?

If they were big enough, you could, but we don’t recommend trying it. At http://www.couchballoons.com/history/, you can learn about the world record holder (Kent Couch, pictured right) for what is known as “cluster ballooning.” Another site, http://www.clusterballoon.org/, has even more information of the extreme sport of cluster ballooning. It is very dangerous, and you have to be a licensed pilot in order to do this.






How old do you have to be to fly a balloon?


According to http://www.illflyaway.net/FAQs.html, you must be 16 years old to obtain a Private Pilot Certificate in the USA . This site also answers all kinds of other questions, like: “What happens when a bird flies into a balloon?”, “What if you have to go to the bathroom?”, and “Are all hot air balloons alike?”







Can you fly around the world in a hot air balloon?

At http://www.myhero.com/myhero/hero.asp?hero=stevefossett, you can read about Steve Fossett, the first person to fly around the world alone, nonstop, in a balloon from June 19, 2002, to July 2, 2002. During his 14-day journey, he traveled 20,602 miles (32,963 km).






What is that largest hot air balloon?

At http://www.energizer.com/energizer-bunny/hot-hare-balloon/Pages/hot_hare_balloon.aspx, you learn that the Energizer Bunny® Hot Hare Balloon is 116 feet tall, making it the world’s biggest hot air balloon. Designed to promote batteries, the balloon’s six-story height is 15 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty!







What happens to a hot air balloon when it lands?

Watch this home video on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owZONPuk2k8, and take a ride with a family as they ‘chase’ a balloon until it lands.


Filed in: Science, Transportation

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