Formerly the High-Altitude Solutions Balloon Team (HAS), the Michigan Balloon Recovery and Satellite Testbed (MBuRST) at the University of Michigan focuses on flying scientific and satellite payloads on high-altitude weather balloons. These balloons reach altitudes upwards of 100,000 ft and temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius. This near-space environment allows MBuRST to be a great testing-platform for student-built space systems!

The famed Michigan block 'M' flown on one of our space balloons. See the entire video below courtesy of Filmic Productions!

The Letter M

The project began in January of 2009 through the AOSS 583 graduate design course, part of the MEng Space Systems program. Its creation primarily stemmed from the vested interests of Dr. Aaron Ridley, Dr. James Cutler, and Dr. Darren McKague. By the summer of that year, the team took on a life of its own and incorporated members from the Student Space Systems Fabrication Lab (S3FL).  Since then, it has remained a fully student-run project with Dr. Ridley and Dr. Cutler serving as advisers. The team is currently working towards developing a long-term balloon flights with sponsorship from NASA JPL!

Working on the team offers a broad range of educational opportunities for multiple engineering disciplines, including integrated systems testing, structural analysis, command & control systems operation, and software development.  The project is very hands-on and all team members can actively contribute from design to flight!

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MBuRST in the news:

Find us in the air:
KD8TMY - 11
KD8CJT - 1
KD8SVI - 1

Chase Cars:


  • FTU cut at 70,000 ft The team performed a successful FTU cut at 70,000 feet. This was about 10,000 ft before the planned cut to avoid landing in lake Erie. The package then ...
    Posted Jan 19, 2014, 2:36 PM by Seth Burke
  • FTU Success from 30,000 ft. After waiting out the snow, the team performed a successful flight with a flight termination unit cut at 30,000 feet. Read about the flight at see pictures in the ...
    Posted Jan 15, 2014, 1:24 PM by Seth Burke
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