NASA Schedules May 13 Balloon Launch Attempt

WANAKA, New Zealand—NASA is targeting Friday, May 13 (Thursday, May 12 in the United States), 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 Friday 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. U.S. EDT Thursday, May 12).

At this time, forecast weather conditions and predicted flight trajectories are considered marginal for launch.

This is the third scheduled launch attempt for NASA’s 2022 Wanaka Balloon Campaign. The first attempt was canceled due to unacceptable low-level winds and the second attempt due to unacceptable stratospheric  wind conditions.

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: