Scientists are building a glider The Perlan II to send to 90,000 ft high (thats 17 miles) and into the edge of our atmosphere. The Perlan II aims to collect and deliver data regarding the state of our fragile ozone layer.
This engine-less plane with a 84 ft wingspan, and weighing in at only 1,700 lbs, will be manned by two brave men and lifted by natural forces into the stratosphere. The flight will begin in Argentina, where strong winds from the Pacific ocean deflect off the Andes mountains to create an air wave with updrafts of 30 ft. per second. The glider will be towed into the air wave by another plane. Once the glider ascends to 16,000 ft it should cross into a polar vortex–a phenomenon that acts as a massive cyclone with very strong uplift. It will soar into the ozone hole where disrupting chemical reactions occur. Chloroflourocarbons, released by humans, bind to oxygen atoms and prevent them from joining the ozone layer. Unfortunately these binds will last for 50 years before the oxygen atoms will be released to contribute to the ozone. Favorably, these chemicals have been banned! The glider will measure current chemical consecrations using lazer light and taking samples. “The idea of extended observations from a platform int he 70-to-90,000 foot range has huge potential for scientific advantages” (James G, Anderson, Harvard climate scientist)