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Four reindeer walk past the BARREL payload. Two are on the left of the payload and two are on the right. The payload looks like a large white box with red square patches on two sides, resting atop a platform with four wheels. The ground is brown with small rocks, and in the background, a forest of green trees spreads over hills in the distance. The sky is overcast.

On Cupid! On, Donner and BARREL!

Four reindeer walk past the BARREL payload on the launch pad at Esrange Space Center near Kiruna, Sweden. The BARREL team was at Esrange Space Center launching a series of six scientific payloads on miniature scientific balloons. The NASA-funded BARREL – which stands for Balloon Array for Radiation-belt Relativistic Electron Losses – primarily measured X-rays in Earth’s atmosphere near the North and South Poles.

Image Credit: NASA/University of Houston/Samar Mathur

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