Life would not be possible without our planet’s precious ecosystem. With climate change a growing concern, you might be thinking about the environmental impact of the products you buy and the services you use. Like you, we care about protecting the environment and ensuring we minimize our contribution to greenhouse gases and non-recyclable waste. We make sure that every step of our process works harmoniously with our natural environment.
Unlike party balloons, our stratospheric balloons are made from undyed, natural latex, which is non-toxic and degrades at the same rate as an oak leaf. They will leave no inorganic traces and the latex contains natural nutrients which will add to the fertility of the soil where they land. So, in the unlikely occasion that we do leave something behind, it only contributes towards our planet’s ecosystem in a positive way.
Our balloons are designed to burst in thin ribbons which remain attached to the neck of the balloon. The overwhelming majority of balloon materials are recovered and disposed of safely after every flight. Occasionally, small fragments (less than 5cm² in area) separate from the main canopy and are unrecoverable. Because of their size and shape, they are far less likely to be eaten by an animal; if this does happen, their organic chemical makeup means that they will pass quickly and harmlessly through the animal’s digestive tract, with no long-term effects.
Balloons achieve buoyancy with the aid of lighter-than-air gas. Most people are familiar with the use of helium as a lift gas in party balloons. We do not use helium, preferring hydrogen gas as a more environmentally friendly alternative.
Helium is a non-renewable resource, as it cannot easily be synthesized or refined from other naturally occurring sources. Instead, it is largely sourced from repositories of gas trapped deep underground. Mining the gas is a resource-intensive process which can be detrimental to the surrounding environment, and once used, cannot easily be replenished. The world is currently experiencing a helium shortage and the gas has vital applications in the medical and scientific industries.
By contrast, hydrogen gas is renewable and can be refined from pure water, using a simple chemical reaction which takes only a small amount of electricity and produces only oxygen as a by-product. This means it has a substantially lower environmental impact than helium, as well as being more buoyant.
Manufacturing & Materials
At Aura Flights we manufacture components in-house to guarantee quality as well as minimizing our carbon footprint from shipping. In addition, our parts are manufactured using cutting-edge low-impact manufacturing technologies, such as 3D printing, laser cutting, custom carbon fibre moulding and CNC routing. These approaches use minimal power, reduce wasted material and produce little to no chemical by-products.
With concern for this blue dot we call home forever in mind, our team design our components for long-lasting use and reuse, using renewable and recyclable materials. All electronics on the launch vehicle are powered using rechargeable power sources and all equipment launched is recovered after every flight and reused.
Eco-friendly through and through
As you can see, we strive in all manner of ways to make sure Aura Flights is a low carbon company. We comply with all relevant environmental legislation, regulations and appropriate codes of conduct, and are always seeking to find the most environmentally-friendly solution to any situation. For us, the future is a green one.