Third Launch Attempt Scheduled for Super Pressure Balloon

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UPDATE: (4:30 a.m. New Zealand Time). NASA Balloon Launch Attempt Postponed Due to Weather

NASA postponed the third launch attempt of its super pressure balloon (SPB) from Wanaka, New Zealand, at 4:30 a.m. Monday, April 10 (New Zealand time) due to poor weather at ground and surface levels.

Wind speeds were just slightly above those required for launch, and with the uncertainty for precipitation in the area, the team made the decision to postpone for the day.

No launch attempt is scheduled for Tuesday, April 11. NASA will announce by 2 p.m. Tuesday, whether or not Wednesday’s weather will support a launch attempt. (All times/dates New Zealand time zone.)
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NASA is targeting Monday, April 10 (Sunday, April 9 in Eastern Time), to conduct a super pressure balloon (SPB) test flight launching from Wanaka Airport, New Zealand, on a potential 100-day journey.

NASA will begin flight preparations in the early morning hours Monday and will continue to evaluate real-time and forecast weather conditions throughout the morning. If weather is conducive for launch, lift-off is scheduled between 8 and 11:30 a.m. locally (between 4 and 7:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, April 9).

At this time, weather conditions are considered marginal for launch.

“There are periods of light rain forecast tomorrow, but we may have a launch opportunity early in our window,” said Gabe Garde, mission manager for the 2017 Wanaka Balloon Campaign. “In the stratosphere at 33.5 km (110,000 feet), the winds are forecast to take the balloon due east after launch, which is ideal for our operations.”

This is the third scheduled launch attempt for NASA’s 2017 Wanaka Balloon Campaign. The first attempt was canceled due to unacceptable stratospheric wind conditions; the second attempt was canceled due to a mechanical issue with a crane used for launch operations, which has since been resolved.

The launch can be tracked in the following ways:

• A live feed of the launch is available here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-csbf-downrange-operations
• Track the progress of the flight at the following link, which includes a map showing the balloon’s real-time location, at: http://www.csbf.nasa.gov/newzealand/wanaka.htm