I will be going down to NASA Dryden near Palmdale, CA, in July to supervise launching of rockets with engines up to M4 class that can reach 70 - 100 Kfeet, depending on the payload. The sensor, navigation, computing, and comms payloads have been developed by high school students supervised by engineers as part of NASA's Small Satellites for Secondary Students (S4) program. The satellites part of the program go up on final stage boosters putting real satellites into orbit and what we're doing is one of the steps students take en route the small satellite lofting.
In addition to the expensive challenges noted by others above, doing high-altitude launches requires navigating a regulatory maze that takes the better part of a year to complete. Part of that is prepping, getting approved, and disseminating things like Notices to Airmen warning of these kinds of operations. The days of launching stuff vertically without any care went away once the chaps with names like Montgolfier and Wright started going airborne. Certifications for launches of increasing complexity have to be earned based on demonstrated knowledge and practice of numerous safety protocols, not the least of which is how to get those Notices to Airmen issued. As a fixed-wing and rotary-wing pilot whose continued life depends on the inconvenience of things like those Notices to Airmen, I don't appreciate hearing things such as, "Throw caution to the wind and launch that thing!" and "But since nobody is actually going to die when it crashes and burns... what the hell give it a go."
There's a lot more that we need to teach the knowledge-challenged about STEM than just the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics aspects. The just-as-important STEM topics of scruples, technocracy, economics, and management also need to be passed down to those we olde fogies leave behind.