Adler Planetarium

Far Horizons

What is Far Horizons?

Far Horizons participants design, build, and launch experiments flown to heights above 100,000 feet on high altitude balloons. Dedicated to the memory of renowned Chicago adventurer, Steve Fossett, the program provides real world opportunities for students and the community to actively participate in science, mathematics, physics, and engineering challenges.

Far Horizons offers a range of camps, internships, outreach, and programs for participants of many ages and experience levels. Students of all ages have an opportunity to conduct hands-on scientific experiments alongside the Adler’s astronomers.

Far Horizons is generously supported by the Peggy and Steve Fossett Foundation. Far Horizons is also supported by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and Bears Care.

Far Horizon Programs

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Mission Near Space 

Design. Build. Launch.

This one-week summer camp provides children with a real near space mission. Campers work with astronomers to build scientific instruments and launch experiments on high altitude balloons to gather data for real space science research.

For campers entering grades 6-10 in fall 2015.

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Astro-Science Workshop

Build your own spacecraft

Astro-Science Workshop participants will construct, launch, track, and recover their own experiments on board a high-altitude balloon–up to around twenty miles above the Earth! Participants will learn astronomy, physics, atmospheric science, and electronics.

Sophomores and juniors in the Chicago area



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Undergraduate Internship

Empower Tomorrow

Interns will learn the challenges of near space exploration and get hands-on experience with stratospheric missions. Throughout the 8-week internship, participants will help design and test new systems for flight. This year's projects may include a two-way radio communication system and software for real-time balloon flight tracking and prediction. Stipends will be provided.

Undergraduate physics or engineering students


Far Horizon Outreach

Want to establish your own high altitude balloon club?

Far Horizons may be able to help. With our years of flight experience, we can assist your school or organization in establishing your very own near space program. Join us for a flight or we can arrange a visit from a Far Horizons expert. Exploring the stratosphere may be easier than you think.