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  NASA balloon with Nuclear Compton Telescope crashes in Australian outback

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Author Topic:   NASA balloon with Nuclear Compton Telescope crashes in Australian outback
Philip
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Posts: 4803
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 04-29-2010 11:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space.com: Huge NASA Science Balloon Crashes in Australian Outback
A huge NASA balloon loaded with a telescope painstakingly built to scan the sky at wavelengths invisible to the human eye crashed in the Australian outback Thursday, destroying the astronomy experiment and just missing nearby onlookers, according to Australian media reports.

In dramatic video released by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the giant 400-foot (121-meter) balloon is seen just beginning to lift its payload, then the telescope gondola appears to unexpectedly come loose from its carriage. The telescope crashes through a fence and overturn a nearby parked sport utility vehicle before finally stopping.

The attempted balloon telescope launch took place at the Alice Springs Balloon Launching Centre, near the town of Alice Springs, in the northern territory of Australia...

The balloon was carrying the Nuclear Compton Telescope (NCT), a gamma-ray telescope built by astronomer Steven Boggs and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, California to study astrophysical sources in space.

Philip
Member

Posts: 4803
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 04-29-2010 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bad news for the astronomers indeed...

Compare the launch sequence with these balloons.

Personally, a few years ago I was amazed by the results of the Balloon-borne Large Aperture Space Telescope (BLAST) of Dr Mark Devlin.

All times are CT (US)

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