A Balloon Launch

A Typical Balloon Launch

Figure 12. Tank car loaded with helium for a balloon launch. This home page shows a typical balloon launch at Ft. Sumner. The gondola contains a cosmic microwave instrument run by scientists from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Figure 13. Tractor with crane used for lifting the gondola above the ground for a balloon launch.

Figure 14. Instrument with tractor (left, note red parachute for recovery of the payload) and balloon being filled (right) at opposite ends of the field.

Figure 15. LIFTOFF to 120,000 ft! Unfortunately, this balloon had a leak of helium and only climbed to 80,000 ft before being aborted. The impact did damage one side of instrument, but not too severely. You will be able to track the balloons from an on board GPS system at home page: http://underdog.nsbf.nasa.gov/gps/gpsdata.htm

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