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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Goddard Space Flight Center

Scientific Ballooning

Balloon Program Office


Capabilities of the Current Flight Program

  • 5-12 conventional flights/year
    • ~4 - 24 hrs., from Palestine TX, or Ft. Sumner NM
  • One to two polar Long-Duration Balloon (LDB) campaigns/year
    • 2-3 LDB flights/year from McMurdo, Antarctica, 10-15 days (up to 40+)
    • 2 LDB flights/year from Kiruna, Sweden to Canada, ~4-6 days
  • One mid-latitude Conventional campaign/year
    • 2 Conventional flights from Alice Springs, Australia, ~24 hrs.
  • Development of Ultra Long Duration Balloon (ULDB) Program
    • Polar or mid-latitude capable
    • 1-ton instrument > 110 kft
    • 100-day flight goal
    • Little or no day/night altitude variation
    • NASA is currently planning development of a ULDB launch site in New Zealand by FY15.

NASA Code 820

Scientific Balloon Update

Report back for the latest update from NASA's Balloon Program Office.