The 2013 Great Plains Super Launch was held in Pella on Saturday. The participants are interested in promoting science, technology, engineering and math using large helium weather balloons as a teaching aide. The weather balloons can reach heights of 85,000 to 100,000 feet into the atmosphere. Mike Morgan, President of the Pella Explorers of Near Space, jokes that the only thing that flies higher than their balloons are satellites and astronauts. The event featured the launch of nine high altitude balloons from a site just North of the Vermeer Global Pavilion.