Stratobus is a stationary stratospheric airship, offering autonomous operation and suited to multiple missions. It measures 100 meters long with a maximum diameter of 33 meters (328 x 108 ft), and weighs less than 5 metric tons. Designed to operate at an altitude of 20 kilometers (about 66,000 ft), above the jet stream and air traffic, StratoBus can carry a payload of up to 250 kg (550 lb), with 5 kilowatts of onboard power. Stratobus doesn’t need a launch vehicle to reach “orbit”. It takes just four hours to reach the stratosphere, and about the same to come back down. Its operating economics make it a real “low-cost” product, extremely competitive for regional civil or military applications, including telecommunications, navigation, observation (especially surveillance), etc. The program is led by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor.