New NASA Balloon Successfully Flight-Tested Over Antarctica
This seven-million-cubic-foot super-pressure balloon is the largest single-cell, super-pressure, fully-sealed balloon ever flown. When development ends, NASA will have a 22 million-cubic-foot balloon that can carry a one-ton instrument to an altitude of more than 110,000 feet, which is three to four times higher than passenger planes fly.
“This flight test is a very important step forward in building a new capability for scientific ballooning based on sound engineering and operational development,” said
Ultra-long duration missions using the super pressure balloon cost considerably less than a satellite and the scientific instruments flown can be retrieved and launched again, making them ideal very-high altitude research platforms.
The test flight was launched
“Our balloon development team is very proud of the tremendous success of the test flight and is focused on continued development of this new capability to fly balloons for months at a time in support of scientific investigations,” said
In addition to the super pressure test flight, two additional long-duration balloons have been launched from McMurdo during the 2008-2009 campaign. The
The super-pressure balloon was highlighted in the
NASA and the National Science Foundation conduct an annual scientific balloon campaign during the Antarctic summer. The National Science Foundation manages the U.S. Antarctic Program and provides logistic support for all U.S. scientific operations in
The Wallops Flight Facility is a division of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in
Track the balloons online at:
For information about the NASA balloon program visit: