Flying Apple Space Technologies (FAST) is a small group of scientists, amateur radio operators and space enthusiasts dedicated to launching high altitude weather balloons into near-space or the “space shore”–the region surrounding the Earth where the upper atmosphere transitions into space. The program is directed by astrophysicist Amanda Maxham and began in 2011 with a NASA Space Grant. We launch balloons from California, Nevada and Arizona.

We support a program for undergraduates and high school students to build, launch and find research payloads on near space weather balloons. Near space research is an emerging field and is exciting because it is accessible. Since it is relatively easy to get to and provides an environment which is close to that of outer space, it is in this playground that students can be exposed to a rich variety of important physics and engineering problems.

You are very welcome to write if you have any questions or are interested in getting involved:

Dr. Amanda Maxham (N9VAR)

Founder & Director

Amanda founded Flying Apple in 2011 as an outreach program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). An astrophysicist and popular science writer, she has a PhD from UNLV, where she taught physics and astronomy. Her work on gamma-ray burst astronomy has appeared in The Astrophysical Journal and The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.