NASA-sends-super-pressure-balloon-from-New-Zeal-and- to the edge of space
The balloon, designed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to detect ultra-high energy cosmic particles from beyond the galaxy as they penetrate the Earth's atmosphere, is expected to circle the planet two or three times. NASA's super-pressure balloon stands fully inflated and ready for lift-off from Wanaka airport.
PHOTO: NASA's super-pressure balloon stands fully inflated and ready for lift-off from Wanaka airport. (Reuters: NASA Supplied)
"The origin of these particles is a great mystery(रहस्य) that we'd like to solve," Angela Olinto, a University of Chicago professor and lead investigator on the project, said in a statement.
"Do they come from massive black holes at the centre of galaxies(आकाशगंगाओं)? Tiny, fast-spinning stars? Or somewhere else?"
The balloon's monitoring was only the start of a long quest which would next involve a space mission being designed by NASA, she added.
NASA's balloon program office chief, Debbie Fairbrother, said the heavy-lift balloons have been critical launch vehicles for testing and validating new technologies and instruments to assure success for future space missions and technologies.
The balloon, launched on Tuesday in Wanaka, a scenic spot on New Zealand's South Island, will collect data from 34 kilometres above the Earth.
New Zealand was also the base for NASA's scientific balloon programme in 2015 and 2016.
Also flying on the vessel is a poppy in commemoration of ANZAC Day.