Balloon Launch Postponed May 12; NASA Evaluating Weather for Next Attempt

WANAKA, New Zealand – NASA postponed the scheduled launch of its super pressure balloon (SPB) from Wanaka, New Zealand, Thursday, May 12 (Wednesday, May 11 in the United States) due to unacceptable stratospheric weather conditions for operations.

Along with monitoring ground and lower-level winds (up to 300 meters) on launch day, stratospheric wind conditions at 33.5 km (110,000 feet), which is where the balloon will float, also need to set-up favorably to support a launch attempt. For today’s attempt the wind conditions would have taken the balloon on an unacceptable flight trajectory.

NASA will announce by 2 p.m. NZST (10 p.m. ET) if the next day’s forecast weather will support a launch attempt.

For those in the local area, the public won’t be allowed at Wanaka Airport on the morning of the launch attempt or to park alongside the airport. However, immediately after lift-off, the balloon will be visible for miles around – the best viewing points will be on the hill on the Hawea side of the Red Bridge by Kane Road or on the Hawea Flat side of the Clutha River.

In addition, the launch can be tracked in the following ways:

A live feed of the launch is available here: 
Track the progress of the flight at the following link, which includes a map showing the balloon’s real-time location, at: