Soar Together @ Air and Space: Balloons
They may seem low-tech but balloons are important to aviation and space. The first birds-eye view of the Earth from an aircraft came from a balloon. Balloons also give us the opportunity to explore the different layers of the atmosphere in more detail. This family day includes a series of digital family engagements around balloons, including digital engagements for all age groups that will be available at any time. Use the menu below to jump to the ones that interest you most:
- Balloon launch
- Science demonstrations
- Videos about balloons
- Story time for early childhood learners
This program is part of the Soar Together @ Air and Space series, which launches the second weekend of each month.
Balloon Launch Across America
Launching Friday, October 9
Take part in the Museum's first attempt to live stream multiple HAM radio balloon launches from across the nation. Families can follow along as the balloons are launched into the air and travel across the globe. The balloons will be tracked by HAM radio and their locations will be updated online! Track the recently-launched balloons.
Balloons have been used to take telescopes high in the atmosphere to observe the Sun and distant planets, but you will not need a balloon or a telescope for this activity. Download a bingo sheet with celestial objects that kids and families can do anytime.
Learn how to fold a piece of paper into a balloon and discover the history of ballooning in Asia. Learn how.
Explore hands-on activities and science demonstrations you can do with your kids:
- Make a cloud in a bottle using items from your home.
- Learn about the layers of the atmosphere.
- Explore how balloons flight with a student explainer.
Explore the history of balloons through clips from our STEM in 30 webcast series for middle school students.
Learn about how master hot air balloon pilot Bill Costen has helped record African American history through collecting artifacts, and recording events with his camera.
Learn how balloons are made:
Discover how gas balloons fly:
Hear the story of Thaddeus Lowe, who convinced President Abraham Lincoln of the potential of the balloon for military reconnaissance — and launched a balloon from the site where the National Air and Space Museum now stands:
Gather your little ones for virtual story time with the National Air and Space Museum as Museum educator Ann Caspari reads the original story "The Incredible Balloon Flight to Dizzying Heights" and shares a hot-air balloon craft.
Soar Together @ Air and Space is made possible by the generous support of