Explore, Research, Educate

This should certainly be the mantra for human existence; and what a world it would be if we all lived by this!

It’s often the most daring of heart and curious of mind exploring, researching and then daring to educate (and delight) others about what they have found.

In the coming issue of 72M Magazine we’re talking progress in all its forms and guises, our feature story focusing on Perlan Mission II, a research project that applies aerospace technology and atmospheric research to fly a glider higher than any other manned aircraft has ever flown!


On August 30, 2006 Steve Fossett and Einar Enevoldson, flying a modified DG-505m aircraft, became the first pilots to soar to 50,671 ft (15,460 m) in an unpowered aircraft (glider). They broke the previous record by 1,662 ft.


Einar Enevoldson, a former test pilot at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, created the Perlan Project. From 1992-98 he collected evidence on the location, prevalence, and strength of stratospheric mountain waves.  From 1998, Dr. Elizabeth Austin; CCM, founder and President of WeatherExtreme Ltd., and the Chief Meteorologist for the Perlan Project, expanded the data analysis and put the project on a firm meteorological basis.

The success of the Perlan Mission I inspired Fossett to commit to funding Perlan Mission II. Unfortunately on September 3, 2007, Fossett disappeared while flying over the Sierra Nevada mountains.  His disappearance prompted a search that included thousands of volunteers but by November 26th, 2007, his wife requested that the courts declare him legally dead. The declaration was satisfied by February 15th 2008 and by October 3rd 2008 the discovery of human remains at the crash site of his plane consolidated this declaration.

At the time of Steve’s passing the structural and aerodynamic design of the fuselage of Perlan II had been completed, along with the aerodynamic design of the entire sailplane (glider). Unfortunately, both Steve Fossett and the funding for completion of Perlan Mission II were lost.


Progress, however, is a complex process and plans for Perlan II continue and a new team has grown around Enevoldson and Austin. In 2015 Perlan Mission II intends to fulfill the ambitions that Fossett, Enevoldson and Austin shared;

Aeronautical Exploration: Push the frontiers of flight by soaring into near space.

Meteorological Research: Investigate the impact of stratospheric waves on global weather patterns, climate and atmospheric chemistry.

Education: Inspire future generations to pursue careers in math, science and research.

Be a part of the Perlan II Mission

You can contribute to the Perlan II mission through its crowdfunding page on Indiegogo. Perks for your contribution range from “Your Face in Space” (The chance to place a thumbnail photo on the Perlan II aircraft) to the ultimate opportunity of flying the Perlan glider!

Go make history.

Source: 72M Magazine http://seventy2minutes.com/blog/2013/12/explore-research-educate/