NASA Launches… Balloons?

Sep 29, 2022 | Daily Space, NASA, Science

NASA Launches… Balloons?
IMAGE: Teams prepare the hand-launch balloon for the TinMan mission from Ft. Sumner, New Mexico. CREDIT: NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility

Earlier this month, NASA Wallops managed the launch and operations of six stratospheric balloons from New Mexico. Four of them have now been successfully recovered. One of them, BALoon Based Observations for sunlit Aurora or BALBOA, studied aurorae during the day. That particular balloon was launched and recovered on September 7.

The next day, on September 8, a balloon called High Altitude Student Platform 16 launched carrying twelve small payloads and then landed on September 9.

The TinManHand experiment was not exactly space-related but was instead studying the effects of upper atmospheric charged particles on aircraft avionics. This flight was a little sporty. The balloon launched on September 23, and the payload descended the same evening; however, a problem with its recovery parachute occurred, and the payload smashed into the ground under a fouled parachute. No one on the ground was injured. The balloon remained in the air until September 26. It has not been found. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the lost balloon did not interfere with any other objects in the air.

The remainder of the balloons will be launched through October.

More Information

NASA press release

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