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Fifth Launch Attempt Scheduled for NASA Super Pressure Balloon

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2022

NASA is targeting Thursday, May 26 (Wednesday, May 25 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 Thursday 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 Wednesday, May 25).

At this time, forecast weather conditions are favorable for launch, however, the predicted launch flight trajectory is considered marginal. 

This is the fifth scheduled launch attempt for NASA’s 2022 Wanaka Balloon Campaign. From high low-level winds to crosswinds and stratospheric winds at 110,000 feet (where the balloon will float), wind conditions have been unacceptable for each attempt thus far. 

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: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-csbf-downrange-operations 

Track the progress of the flight at the following link, which includes a map showing the balloon’s real-time location, at: http://www.csbf.nasa.gov/newzealand/wanaka.htm

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