A NASA super pressure balloon carrying the SuperBIT scientific payload is preparing to make its second land crossing over South America. After 12 days in flight, the scientific balloon is on track to reach South America Friday, April 28, at approximately 2 p.m. EDT (Friday, April 28, at 6 p.m. UTC).
The scientific balloon, which lifted off from Wānaka Airport, New Zealand, April 15 (U.S. Eastern Time), made its first land crossing on Thursday, April 20, at 9:30 p.m. EDT (Friday, April 21, at 1:30 a.m. UTC). NASA predicts the balloon will complete a circumnavigation once every week to three weeks.
Before any land overflight occurs, a thorough assessment is made of the balloon’s health and the performance of the command and control electronics onboard. In addition, the forecast trajectory is analyzed from a safety perspective before beginning overflight operations.
The ongoing science balloon flight is monitored real-time from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine, Texas, and anyone can track the position of the balloon here
For more information on NASA’s Balloon Program, visit: www.nasa.gov/scientificballoons.