Articles about balloon

Down to Earth: NASA's kilo-kitty balloon lands after 46 days

NASA's super-pressure balloon project has once again fallen short of its 100-day target, but still managed to set some records on the way. The agency brought down the balloon in Peru over the weekend, citing altitude variations: The decision to conclude the mission came after NASA’s balloon operators noted altitude variations …
Loon balloon

Inside Project Loon – Google's megaplan to build a global internet

Google I/O 2016 Google's I/O developer conference isn't just about code – the Chocolate Factory has many schemes and attendees have been drawn to a large balloon hovering in a corner of the conference venue. The balloon is an example of Project Loon, Google's plan to loft thousands of balloons equipped with LTE antennae that will bring …
Iain Thomson, 19 May 2016

Google Loon balloon crash lands in Chile

The Chilean authorities are investigating a Google Project Loon balloon flight which ended on Saturday morning in a pile of crumpled kit in a farmer's field. Police at the scene of the landing. Pic: Policía de Investigaciones de Chile Police teams cordoned off the crash site to the east of Los Ángeles, some 100km southeast …
Lester Haines, 25 Apr 2016

Dropping 1,000 cats from 32km: How practical is that?

Our report yesterday into NASA's high-altitude, heavy-lift super pressure balloon (SPB) mission - lofted by a stadium-sized sandwich bag and weighing in at 1,000 cats - prompted the traditional provocative reader input. First up, since the SPB's orb is crafted from 22 acres of polyethylene film, swelling to a whopping 516,499 …
Lester Haines, 8 Apr 2016

1,000 cats await stadium-sized sandwich bag launch

The fourth launch of NASA's high-altitude, heavy-lift super pressure balloon (SPB) is on hold while scientists wait for a break in the weather over Wanaka Airport, on New Zealand's South Island. The SPB is designed for "ultra-long-duration flight of up to 100 days at mid-latitudes", at a more-or-less constant float altitude of …
Lester Haines, 7 Apr 2016

NASA preps stadium-size sandwich bag launch

NASA is gearing up for the fourth launch of its high-altitude, heavy-lift super pressure balloon (SPB) tech, which involves hosting a 1,025kg payload aloft under a helium-filled "pumpkin-shaped, football stadium-size balloon" crafted from "22-acres of polyethylene film - similar to a sandwich bag, but stronger". The SPB will …
Lester Haines, 8 Mar 2016

Balloon-lofted space podule hits 30,000m

US space flight outfit World View has successfully test flown a 1/10 scale model of its balloon-lofted passenger podule, and reckons it'll be ready to welcome paying customers aboard the full-fat version in 2017. The gondola hit 30,624 metres (100,475ft) before detaching from the mighty helium-filled orb, after which it …
Lester Haines, 27 Oct 2015

PIGS IN SPAAAACE: HAMS send porker to 25,927m

The recent news that a pop vid director had sent a vintage Sony telly up to the stratosphere prompted us to note that just about everything bar the kitchen sink has been dispatched heavenwards under a meteorological balloon. One omission from the list of airborne oddities was a pig, surprising given the headline-friendly …
Lester Haines, 28 Sep 2015

Sony sends muso stratowards on vintage TV set

It appears that pretty well everything but the kitchen sink has now been dispatched stratowards under a helium balloon, and we can now cross vintage tellies off the list, thanks to a music vid featuring crooner Kelvin Jones and his ditty Call You Home. Director Joe Connor explained: "I created this video by sending a vintage …
Lester Haines, 15 Sep 2015
A still from the Arizona flight

Arizona lads recover epic stratovid – two years after launch

A groups of lads from Arizona has posted a nice vid of a balloon flight over the US's majestic southwest – having finally recovered the footage two years after their payload went AWOL in the desert. Bryan Chan, Ved Chirayath, Ashish Goel, Paul Tarantino and Tyler Reid sent a GoPro Hero3, Sony camcorder and Samsung Galaxy …
Lester Haines, 14 Sep 2015

Brits send Star Wars X-wing fighter to the stratosphere

A couple of Brits have made a cheeky pitch for tickets to the premiere of forthcoming Star Wars flick The Force Awakens by sending a model X-wing fighter into the stratosphere. Essex boys Matt Kingsnorth and Phil St. Pier, of Project Helium Tears (motto "For Essex, for Earth, for all mankind") hit 36,190m with their …
Lester Haines, 30 Apr 2015
Super Pressure Balloon overhead in Victoria

NASA 'UFO' pops a leak, lands in outback Australia

NASA has terminated the flight of its Super Pressure Balloon after one-third of its planned flight. While the aviation agency's Wallops Flight Facility is pleased that the balloon made a near-circumnavigation in its 32 days aloft, the mission was originally planned to last 100 days. “Controllers detected a leak developing in …
Google provides great mobile coverage for Yetis

Google: We're not mad, our mobes-in-sky Project Loon is FINE

Google has posted a new video explaining the progress it’s made with Project Loon, the plan to float thousands of balloons into the upper atmosphere to provide internet connectivity for penguins. Project Loon: Scaling Up It’s a project akin to Motorola’s Iridium, which was also a plan to provide ubiquitous mobile coverage, …
Simon Rockman, 23 Apr 2015

Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight

The matter of whether our Vulture 2 spaceplane's servos will freeze at altitude will be resolved on Saturday by our US allies at Edge Research Lab, when they send a complete spaceplane autopilot/battery/servo rig stratowards. Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) regulars will be aware we've been fretting about our …
Lester Haines, 24 Oct 2014
Google Loon balloon envelope

Google to go Loony within the year

Google reckons its Loon balloons are going to be delivering a service within the next year, and has revealed that it's abandoned the radio kit it first tested in favour of LTE. When it first started playing with its stratospheric connectivity in 2013, the Chocolate Factory would only reveal that it had a “3G-like” …
Our LOHAN mission patch design

Who wants to be there as history is made at the launch of our LOHAN space project?

As our Kickstarter campaign to get the Vulture 2 spaceplane off the ground at Spaceport America rattles along nicely, we're offering our final reward today: the chance for two people to meet the team in New Mexico, spend a few days and attend the historic launch. The way it works is this: you get yourself to the airport in El …
Lester Haines, 12 Sep 2014

Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole

Hats must be tipped today in tribute to Brit balloon bod Leo Bodnar, whose ultralight B-64 payload is about to complete its second circumnavigation of the planet. The 11g B-64 rig – comprising radio transmitter, LiPo battery and a couple of solar panels slung under a transparent film envelope (pics here) – launched on 12 July …
Lester Haines, 22 Aug 2014
The path of the balloon yesterday as it returned to UK airspace

Brit balloon bod Bodnar circumnavigates planet

Brit balloon bod Leo Bodnar has pulled off a bit of a blinder by successfully flying an ultralight radio payload right round the planet. Launched on 12 July from near Silverstone, Northamptonshire, B-64 yesterday returned to Blighty, and was this morning still going strong over Sweden. The path of the balloon yesterday as it …
Lester Haines, 1 Aug 2014

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