New Mexico Researchers Launch NASA Balloon for Record-Setting Flight

New Mexico State University researchers have launched a NASA balloon from the McMurdo Station in Antarctica for a record-setting flight.

The university says the balloon is the largest successful single cell super pressure balloon ever flown. It has been flying at an altitude of about 110,000 feet since being launched nearly a month ago.

Researchers say the next generation of super pressure balloons will be able to fly longer missions and carry heavier data gathering instruments.

NMSU's Physical Science Laboratory manages the $238 million NASA contract for the operation, maintenance and engineering support of the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility.

The facility launches between 15 and 20 balloons each year from sites in New Mexico, Sweden, Antarctica, South American and Australia.