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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Goddard Space Flight Center

Scientific Ballooning.

Balloon Program Office

Test Flight 631NT - Sweden Deployment Test Flight, 18 MCF Balloon

  • The goal of this flight was balloon deployment
  • Balloon was scaled up from the successful 616NT, ~14 MCF, test flight
  • Kiruna, Sweden, on August 14, 2012
  • Balloon volume ~532,000 m3 (~18,800,000 ft3), 280 Gores
  • Suspended payload ~2,270 kg (~5,000 lbs)
  • Diameter 114.7 m (~376 ft), Height 71.0 m (~233 ft)
  • Desired Float Altitude: 33.5 km (~110,000 ft, + infinity/ - 5,000 ft)
  • Balloon fully and easily deployed at float
  • Short flight due to winds at float altitude
  • No gas loss detected
  • All ballast dropped to pressurize the balloon to the fullest extent possible
  • Sections of the balloon recovered for post flight inspection


  • Inflation of the 631NT Super Pressure Balloon
    Inflation of the 631NT


    Fully deployed 631NT Super Pressure Balloon at float
    631NT Balloon at float


    Excellent altitude stability demonstrated for this flight. Altitude change above due to dropping all ballast to pressurize the balloon.
    631NT Altitude at Float Chart


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