Three Scientific Balloons Afloat Above Northern Hemisphere
June 10, 2009
Three NASA scientific balloons carrying space science experiments were simultaneously afloat over the Northern Hemisphere on June 8 and 9.
Two of the balloons were launched from the Esrange in Kiruna,Sweden, on June 6 and 8 and the third balloon was launch from Ft. Sumner, N.M., on June 8.
The AntiElectron SubOrbital Payload (AESOP), from the University of Delaware, Newark, and launched from Sweden June 6, is designed to study the extent to which the large-scale structure of the heliospheric magnetic field is important in the transmission of galactic rays through the heliosphere.
The second Sweden launched payload, Sunrise from the Max Planck Institute, Germany, is carrying a one-meter solar telescope to provide near diffraction-limited images of the photosphere and chromospheres with an unprecedented resolution down to 35 kilometers on the solar surface.
The third experiment, launched from New Mexico, was the Faint Intergalactic medium Red-shifted Emission Balloon (FIREBall). A cooperative effort between Columbia University, New York; California Institute of Technology, Pasadena; France’s Laboratorie Astronomie Marseille and it’s space agency Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES). The experiment seeks to discover and map faint emission from the Inter Galactic Medium.
FIREBall is expected to land June 9, in southwestern Utah. AESOP is expected to land in northeastern Canada around June 10, and Sunrise is expected to land in northeastern Canada around June 12. All three payloads are planned to be recovered.
The Wallops Flight Facility manages NASA’s scientific balloon program for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate. Launch operations are conducted by the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine, Texas, which is managed for NASA by the Physical Science Laboratory of New Mexico State University, Las Cruses.
Track the balloons on-line at:
For information about the NASA balloon program visit: