San Diego

SD Pilot Will Fly to Edge of Space in Glider

Chief Pilot Jim Payne of San Diego will soar through the stratosphere next month in a glider, meaning, no engine.

"At least I don't have to worry about the engines going out," Payne joked at a press conference in Washington D.C. Thursday.

Payne will fly in the Perlan 2 as part of the Perlan Project to gather data about climate change from the levels of the atmosphere closest to space.

The glider will be lifted by a tow plane 10,000 feet up and then, hopefully, catch a mountain wave, or a current that will lift the craft and make it fly.

“We’re not 1,000 percent sure the mountain wave will go that high, but we’re going to find out," said Payne.

The Payne Project said some of the biggest weather waves are actually above the stratosphere, making research from there invaluable.

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