Antarctic Balloon Campaign Underway
NASA’s Balloon Program Office based at Wallops Flight Facility kicked off the winter Antarctic balloon campaign this weekend in McMurdo Station, Antarctica.
On Saturday, December 8, the SuperTIGER payload was launched. SuperTIGER, or Super Trans-Iron Galactic Element Recorder, is flying a new instrument for measuring the presence of certain elements in the universe. This information will be used to test a new model of radiation in space and how it affects atoms. This experiment uses techniques and results from its predecessor mission, TIGER.
The 39 million cubic foot balloon is carrying SuperTIGER to a float altitude of 127,000 feet.
The principal investigator of the Super-TIGER mission is Dr. Walter Binns of Washington University.
SuperTIGER is the first balloon launch of the 2012 Antarctica campaign. There are two missions left in the campaign: EBEX and BLAST-pol. The launch window runs through early January.
The National Science Foundation manages the U.S. Antarctic Program and provides logistic support for all U.S. scientific operations in Antarctica.
To monitor the real time flight tracks of the balloons on the Internet, visit: http://www.csbf.nasa.gov/antarctica/ice.htm
For more information about NASA’s balloon program on the Internet, visit: http://www.wff.nasa.gov/balloons