NASA balloon with telescope lands after 40 days of flight

NASA balloon with telescope lands after 40 days of flight

2023-05-26 11:24:49

A partially inflated superpressure balloon as it prepares for launch from Wānaka, New Zealand, on April 16, with the SuperBIT payload. – NASA/BILL RODMAN


NASA successfully completed the flight test of its super pressure balloon with the SuperBIT telescope on board, after some 39 days and 14 hours of flying around the world over the Southern Ocean.

The mission began on April 16 from Wanaka Airport, New Zealand, which is the launch site for NASA’s long-duration balloon program.

The balloon flew with the payload of the Super Pressure Balloon Imaging Telescope (SuperBIT), who has taken research images of distant galaxies in the near-to-visible ultraviolet light spectrum.

“This flight was, without exception, our best to date with the balloon nominally flying in the stratosphere and maintaining a stable hover altitude,” he said. it’s a statement Debbie Fairbrother, chief of NASA’s Balloon Program Office at the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. “Achieving long-duration balloon flight in both day and night conditions is an important goal for our program and the scientific community, and this flight has significantly moved the needle in the validation and qualification of balloon technology.”

Having identified a safe landing area over southern Argentina, balloon operators at NASA’s Columbia Balloon Science Facility, They sent flight termination commands at 12:37 UTC on May 25.

The 532,000 cubic meter balloon then separated from the payload, quickly deflated and the payload floated safely to the ground on a parachute that landed in an unpopulated area 122 kilometers northeast of Gobernador Gregores, Argentina. NASA coordinated with Argentine officials before finalizing the balloon mission; Payload and balloon recovery is in progress.

During its nearly 40-day journey, the balloon completed a record five full laps over the mid-latitudes of the southern hemispheremaintaining a float altitude of around 108,000 feet.

In the next few days, the forecast flight path would have taken the balloon further south with little exposure to sunlight, creating some risk in the maintenance of the energy of the systems of the globe, which are charged through solar panels. The ground crossing created an opportunity to conclude the flight safely and recover the balloon and payload.

#NASA #balloon #telescope #lands #days #flight


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent News

Editor's Pick