Jumping Balloons El Paso
The balloon is filled with helium to create lift. Helium is non-flammable, non-toxic if vented to the atmosphere and a safe, predictable method of ascent.
Material: It is constructed of strips of high-performance polyethylene (plastic) film that is only 0.0008 inches thick. In total, these strips would cover 40 acres if they were laid flat. Polyester-fibre reinforced load tapes are incorporated to do the weight bearing.
Size, volume and shape: The balloon for Felix's mission from the edge of space will be nearly 30 million cubic feet in capacity - 10 times larger than Joe Kittinger's balloon in 1960.
At launch, it will be tall and thin, stretching 55 stories high. As the balloon ascends, the helium will expand and the balloon will slowly fill out to an almost completely round shape: