Many thanks to everyone that commented on the balloon size. There were lots of really good suggestions.
However, over the weekend I've had emails from several people that have launched near space missions before. They suggested that even if we went for the larger, 500 gramme balloon it would not be big enough to lift the payload quickly enough. If the balloon rises too slowly (at less than 5 metres per second) it is likely to be blown much further and could end up in the sea. So I think we need to rethink and go for an even larger sized balloon.
I've done this rough calculation of the weight of the payload. We have to include everything underneath the balloon in the calculation.
It comes to much more than I had previously calculated; a whopping 620 grammes!!
Have a look at the burst calculator here. You can put in the balloon size and payload weight and it will calculate the ascent speed and the height the balloon will burst at. There is also a supplier of helium here.
What size do you think we should go for?
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