NASA is targeting Tuesday, April 25 (Monday, April 24, in U.S. Eastern Time (EDT)), to conduct a super pressure balloon (SPB) test flight launching from Wānaka Airport, New Zealand, on a potential 100-day journey.
If weather is conducive for launch, lift-off is scheduled between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. locally (between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. EDT Monday, April 24). The team is currently targeting late in the window for launch.
This is the eighth scheduled launch attempt for NASA's 2017 Wānaka Balloon Campaign. Image courtesy Bill Rodman/NASA.
Launch Viewing Information
Wānaka Airport officials advise that local residents and visitors will have the best vantage points for the launch from:
- The Hawea Flat side of the Clutha River
- Atop Mount Iron
- On the hill on the Hawea side of the Red Bridge by Kane Rd.
The launch can be tracked in the following ways:
- A live feed of the launch is available here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-csbf-downrange-operations
- Track the progress of the flight at the following link, which includes a map showing the balloon’s real-time location, at: http://www.csbf.nasa.gov/newzealand/wanaka.htm
- For mission status updates follow NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility social media accounts www.facebook.com/NASAWFF www.twitter.com/NASA_Wallops
- For launch updates follow on Wānaka Airport’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/WanakaAirport
- For the live broadcast from Wānaka Airport tune in to Radio Wānaka 92.2 FM
Super Pressure Balloon Facts
- Volume of the balloon when fully inflated: 532,379 cubic meters (18.8 million cubic feet); about the size of a football stadium
- Diameter of the balloon when fully inflated: 114.5 meters (376 feet)
- Height when fully inflated: 68.96 meters (233 feet)
- Altitude at float: 33.5 kilometers (110,000 feet)
- Amount of balloon film used to make the balloon (the film is polyethylene—the same material used in sandwich bags, though our film is much stronger and more durable): 8.9 hectares (22 acres)
- The weight of the balloon combined with the suspended weight (gondola, flight train, and parachute) is: 4,909 kilograms (10,821 pounds); separately, the balloon weighs 2,414 kilograms (5,321 pounds) and the total suspended weight is 2,495 kilograms (5,500 pounds