Feeds

Terror in the Outback: Attack of the Giant Space Balloon

Rogue gasbag wrecks car, petrifies goggling onlookers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A "giant space balloon" went out of control in Australia yesterday in a "gut-wrenching" incident which saw a car wrecked and bystanders within inches of death, according to eyewitness accounts.

The giant gasbag was intended to ascend 20 miles to the edge of space, there to measure cosmic gamma-ray emissions and probe the mysteries of the universe. Unfortunately the launch near the town of Alice Springs went wrong and the small-truck sized payload gondola slung beneath the envelope hurtled sideways across the ground, wrecking a parked car (fortunately unoccupied) and almost destroying another.

According to Aussie news channel ABC, who had a crew present to record the launch, Alice Springs couple Alan and Betty Davies were sitting in their car watching the launch when the rogue gondola smashed into a vehicle parked adjacent to them.

"I think if it had hadn't have been for the other gentleman's car being there we'd have been somewhere else by now," said a shaken Mrs Davies.

"We were expecting to be wiped out."

Professor Ravi Sood of Australia's Balloon Launching Centre, in charge of the operation, expressed happiness that no one had been hurt in the gasbag mishap unpleasantness. However he said the boffins running the NASA-sponsored experiment were gutted.

"Ballooning, that's the way it happens on occasions but it is very, very disappointing. Gut-wrenching actually," said the prof.

There's video of the incident courtesy of ABC here. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?