Mission Statement

To explore the wonders of ballooning through hands-on learning for children of all ages.

The Future…
Our Goals…

Make Albuquerque the World Capital of Ballooning through year round grade school education programs..

Our Plans…

  • Develop a school program utilizing ballooning to illustrate concepts of physics, math, geography, and weather.
  • Develop a traveling exhibit that would bring the hands-on exhibits from the Balloon Fiesta to schools around the state.
  • Establish a “Teacher’s Council” for guidance on using ballooning in the classroom.
  • Update and refurbish existing Balloon Explorium exhibits.
  • Develop new hands-on exhibits to better illustrate lighter than air flight requirements.

Paper Takes Flight Fiesta

Fourth Grades Take to the Air

Did you know that you can make tissue paper fly? Have you ever seen a tissue paper balloon?What does it take?

·         Tissue paper – 18 sheets, 20″ x 30″
·         glue
·         a wire coat hanger
·         a piece of string

and… a way to heat the air!
That’s all!



The Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is just a few months away. Plans for the year 2000 call for 1,000 balloons, making Fiesta the largest gathering of balloons in the world. “Paper Takes Flight” is the name being given to another record breaking event planned for Fiesta; the largest tissue paper balloon event in the world!

The Fiesta Balloon Explorium Committee is inviting all fourth grade classes in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho to participate in “Paper Takes Flight” by building and flying at least one tissue paper balloon during this event. “Paper Takes Flight” is being planned for Thursday, October 12, 2000 following the scheduled flying event.

Each fourth grade class will receive a tissue paper balloon kit complete with paper, glue and wire to make one balloon. Students may want to decorate their balloons to look like old-fashioned hot air balloons or like one of the balloons flying at Fiesta. They might also want to add their class or school name or mascot to their balloon. (Plans include transportation to and from Balloon Fiesta Park for each participating class.)

It may seem a bit early to commit yourself to this event, but the Committee needs to gauge interest and secure sponsorship now!

Join the fun and be a part of “Paper Takes Flight!”

Balloon Tracking System

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) use satellites to determine position, time, speed, altitude, and direction of different kinds of moving objects (even people).

The GPS sends the information it gets from the Satellites to the Packet Radio. There is a Packet Radio in the Balloon, and another one at a base station.  These radios transmit the GPS information from the Balloon to the base station. The GPS information goes from the base station packet radio into the computer, where you see it displayed on the moving map on the screen.

The information also goes on to the Internet.  This is done by an “I-Gate”. An I-Gate is like an electronic “door” that opens up to allow information to travel from the base station computer to the Internet.

Now you can look at the screen and watch us track hot air balloons, gas balloons and even chase vehicles during the Fiesta.

What is the “Albuquerque Box”?

Winds at different altitudes can go different directions.  In Albuquerque sometimes, the wind may go in four directions at different altitudes, allowing a balloon to fly in a circle or box. Hear talks on this and other ballooning subjects from experts in the field.

Why are there different baskets?

We have a display of several different balloon baskets that have been donated or loaned to the Explorium. Visitors can see up close how they are constructed and what is in them.

What else is there?

Each year we have a special exhibit dealing with something special that is going on during the Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  We have had exhibits on the Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Races, and hope to have an exhibit on hydrogen balloons.