I would love to get into near-space exploration projects. One of the more cost effective approaches is with High-Altitude Ballooning (HAB).
High-altitude balloons are unmanned balloons, usually filled with helium or hydrogen that are released into the stratosphere. They generally reach an altitude between 60,000 to 120,000 feet (18 to 37 km).
Two open source projects that I came across are the Sparkfun HAB by Nate and Trackuino project by Javier Martin. Kyle Crocke has developed an Arduino shield based off the the Trackuino project. I’ll be studying the above designs so that I can start experimenting.
Original Post: Adafruit