Past projects

STAR MICRONICS ‘FIRST BALLOON FLIGHT OVER EVEREST’
Elson piloted one of 2 x balloons to achieve record-breaking first flight.

GLOBAL BALLOON CHALLENGE
Design and build of capsules & life support systems for teams attempting a non-stop global balloon flight. Clients included Cable & Wireless, Breitling & the late US millionaire Steve Fossett.

The Cable and Wireless Balloon, piloted by Andy Elson and Colin Prescot broke the World Endurance Record for any Non-Stop Sub-Orbital Flying Machine, flying over 12,000 miles from Spain to the Pacific in 18 days.

QINETIQ 1
Design and build of world’s largest helium balloon plus life-support platform to set a new world altitude record for a manned balloon ascent – to 25 miles, (132,000 feet). As one of the 2 pilots, Elson completed cosmonaut training in Moscow. The team also carried out extensive development on a revolutionary solar powered UAV, now known as Zephyr.

MAGIC DRAGON: (Elson Space, Formerly as Black Sky Technologies)
Design and build – in UK – of prototype capsule for SpaceX, to carry 5 astronauts and/or cargo to and from the International Space Station. (A derivation of this vehicle, Dragon, successfully launched and docked with the ISS, on an unmanned cargo/resupply mission in May 2012. The capsule successfully returned to Earth, to be prepared for its next mission.)

WORLD HOT AIR BALLOON ALTITUDE RECORD
Design, build & project management of a pressurized capsule and balloon to set the current world hot air balloon altitude record of 70,000 feet above Mumbai

GKN MISSION EVEREST
Elson Space facilitated high altitude testing for project personnel and equipment on Bear Grylls’ 2007 attempt to fly parallel with the summit of Everest by parajet.

CAUDWELL EXTREME EVEREST
Elson Space provided altitude testing for UCL Centre for Altitude, Space and Extreme environment medicine (CASE) research project – doctors and scientists studying human systems stretched to breaking point in extreme environments to increase our understanding of critically ill patients.