ABOUT Jason Krueger
ABOUT – JASON KRUEGER
Jason Krueger is an Aerospace entrepreneur and founder of StratoStar. Since 2006 he and his team have designed innovative software and electronics to create StratoStar’s high-altitude balloon platforms used by industry, government agencies and educational institutions. Connect with me on LinkedIn.
My Work at StratoStar
I started StratoStar to help people and organizations fly projects on high-altitude balloons and experience the excitement of receiving data from the edge of space 100,000 ft above Earth! Since 2006 myself and my team at StratoStar continue our innovation on StratoStar’s high-altitude balloon platforms and services to help our customers fly payloads above the Earth’s atmosphere. With over 1000+ successful high-altitude balloon missions we continue to develop innovations to make the edge of space easily accessible. Lately, I have been collaborating with people from companies and education institutions working on developing software, systems or teams which will ultimately fly their projects in outer space. I love my job!
My Work WITH THE GOVERMENT
Since the beginning of StratoStar in 2006, I have had the opportunity to work for government agencies including NASA, Smithsonian, Department of Defense, National Science Foundation and Civil Air Patrol. I am a huge aviation history enthusiast and one of my favorite projects was working with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to develop a program for Rocket University which was designed to re-train space shuttle engineers to gain skills for non-human missions beyond earth orbit. I had the chance to train NASA Engineers on site at Cape Canaveral where the USA began human space flight. The engineers I trained used StratoStar electronics, software and GPS tracking systems to flight test their prototype systems at the edge of space on high-altitude balloons, 100,000 ft above the Space Coast and make ocean recoveries just like the mercury era missions!
My Work WITH INDUSTRY
Unfortunately most of my industry work is covered under Non-Disclosure Agreements. However, I have worked closely with teams from Northrop Grumman for a number of years in many different areas. One of my most fun industry collaborations was with the Discovery Channel who wanted to fly a 360 degree video camera to film the journey from the Earth to the edge of space using a high-altitude balloon. At the time in 2016 there were no commercially available cameras capable of filming in 360 degrees, so I had to develop a system utilizing GoPro cameras to capture footage during the flight. Discovery Channel ended up sending a film crew and host of their YouTube channel to film and provide commentary for the launch and recovery of this unique photography mission. The mission and footage were a huge success! The Discovery Channel team took the raw footage back to Hollywood and created an amazing 360 VR YouTube video called “Jouney to the Edge of Space” and launched their new channel SeekerVR. The video now has over 22 million views and won a Webby Award for the VR Video category.
My Work WITH EDUCATION
I had the opportunity to start working on high-altitude balloons missions starting in 2002 as a student at Taylor University. At the time we were working on building a cubesat for an Air Force competition to win a free ride to space for the best student built satellite. We had many different departments on campus participating in building the satellite and once completed we needed to test it in a space like environment. One of our professors thought a weather balloon or high-altitude balloon might fly high enough to test the satellite. So on a cold February day in Indiana we went to a local middle school and launched the satellite prototype. We got enough data from the satellite to track it down for recovery in Ohio. The middle school kids love it and the University students immediately wanted to fix everything and fly it again. This was the seed of inspiration for StratoStar as the educators could make learning real! From my dorm room StratoStar was created and I have worked with thousands of educators and professors to bring high-altitude ballooning to students and allow them to make learning real as we did on our first flight.
Accomplishments and Awards
- Conducted over 150 high-altitude balloon missions
- Developed StratoStar tracking telemetry and software used on 1000+ missions
- Trained and supported hundreds of organizations in high-altitude balloon operations
- Conducted high-altitude balloon research for National Science Foundation (NSF)
- Developed and Supported high-altitude balloon program for NASA Kennedy’s Rocket University
- Project lead for multiple high-altitude balloon missions with Northrop Grumman
- Webby Award Winner for VR Video in collaboration with Discovery Channel
Examples of my work with StratoStar