NASA successfully launched its super-pressure balloon filled with helium
The balloon is on a mission that for more than 100 days around the Southern hemisphere while rotating at 110,000 feet. The 18.8-million-cubic-foot (532,000-cubic-meter) Super Pressure Balloon lifted off from NASA’s new launch pad adjacent to Wanaka Airport carrying a suspended payload of 5,500 pounds (2,495 kilograms).
NASA Super Balloon
The Stadium sized pressure balloon is made from polyethylene film that is much stronger and durable.
Inside the balloon is the University of Chicago Extreme Universe Space Observatory that will play a key role in the detection of cosmic rays from the galaxy.
As the balloon moves around the earth, it might be possible to see it from the ground especially during sunrise and sunset.
Main Objective of NASA Super Balloon
To test the balloons technology with a view of refining it; if possible,
To detect high-energy commission rays from beyond the Galaxy.
Extreme Universe Space Observatory on a Super Pressure Balloon (EUSO-SPB) payload is flying as a mission of opportunity.
EUSO-SPB’s objective is to detect ultra-high energy cosmic rays from beyond our galaxy as they penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere.
As these high-energy particles enter the atmosphere, they interact with nitrogen molecules in the air and create a UV fluorescence light. From its high-altitude vantage point, EUSO-SPB will look downward observing a broad swathe of the Earth’s atmosphere to detect the UV fluorescence from these deep space cosmic rays coming in from above.
“EUSO-SPB is now searching for the most energetic cosmic particles ever observed. The origin of these particles is a great mystery that our pioneering mission will help to solve. Do they come from massive black holes at the center of galaxies? Tiny, fast-spinning pulsars? Or somewhere else?”
At a relatively low cost, NASA’s heavy-lift balloons have been critical launch vehicles for testing and validating new technologies and science instruments to assure mission success for costlier, higher-risk follow-on spaceflight missions,
As the balloon travels around the Earth, it may be visible from the ground, particularly at sunrise and sunset, to those who live in the southern hemisphere’s mid-latitudes, such as Argentina and South Africa. Anyone may track the progress of the flight, which includes a map showing the balloon’s real-time location.
NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia manages the agency’s scientific balloon flight program with 10 to 15 flights each year from launch sites worldwide.