17 miles up is just the stratosphere not space really
Sorry to be such a killjoy, but 17 miles up is not really "space" is it? More like the stratosphere. Noctilucent clouds are found up to 50 miles I believe. Are they in space? And how would a helium balloon get above the atmosphere anyway? One compensation is that both "space" and "stratophere" begin with "S" so a more accurate description of the project could still use the PARIS acronym.
Bah humbug! Bob.