Super-TIGER is up! Your chance to track a stratospheric balloon in real time

Dec 11, 2012 by Diana Lutz
Super-TIGER is up! Your chance to track a stratospheric balloon in real time

The Super-TIGER cosmic-ray experiment had a perfect launch Sunday at 9:45 a.m. New Zealand Daylight Time. The enormous balloon that will carry it to the limits of Earth's atmosphere was stretched out on the ice and then partially filled. (It rounds out nicely as it rises into the stratosphere.) 

As it came up off the ice, the rose directly over the downstream instrument, which was held by a crane on an enormous truck named the Boss, after the polar explorer Shackleton. If the balloon isn't overhead when it is released, it swings like a and bashes into the ice. In this case, everything went beautifully; the Boss barely moved, and the balloon lifted the two-ton instrument effortlessly into the sky.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Video of the Super-TIGER launch. Credit: Richard Bose

The video was shot by Richard Bose, an in the Department of Physics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. At the end of the video, you can hear people congratulating Robert Binns, PhD, research professor of physics at Washington University and the principle investigator on the Super-TIGER experiment, which is the work of a team from the California Institute of Technology, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the University of Minnesota and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in addition to Washington University. The flawless was carried out by the crew of the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, the world's experts in launching stratospheric balloons.

To learn more about the experiment, see Rough Guide to Super-TIGER Watching

Super-TIGER is up! Your chance to track a stratospheric balloon in real time
After an initial bobble, the balloon headed straight west. To go round the South Pole counter-clockwise, it needs simply to continue to travel due west. This is a Google map version of the balloon track.

The scientists are hoping the balloon will circumnavigate the pole at least twice before it must be brought down. Here is its track as of 10:30 a.m. CST Monday Dec. 10.

Super-TIGER is up! Your chance to track a stratospheric balloon in real time

To keep an eye on Super-TIGER's progress yourself, bookmark the tracking page for NASA's Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility.

Explore further: NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New Balloon Successfully Flight-Tested Over Antarctica

Jan 09, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA and the National Science Foundation have successfully launched and demonstrated a newly designed super pressure balloon prototype that may enable a new era of high-altitude scientific ...

NASA Research Balloon Makes Record-Breaking Flight

Jan 28, 2005

Flying near the edge of space, a NASA scientific balloon broke the flight record for duration and distance. It soared for nearly 42 days, making three orbits around the South Pole. The record-breaking bal ...

Scientific balloon launches from Antarctica

Dec 22, 2010

NASA and the National Science Foundation launched a scientific balloon on Monday, Dec. 20, to study the effects of cosmic rays on Earth. It was the first of five scientific balloons scheduled to launch from ...

NASA scientific balloons to return to flight

Dec 16, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's scientific balloon program is resuming flights this month after an extensive evaluation of its safety processes following a mishap during an April launch attempt from Australia. NASA's high-altitude ...

Recommended for you

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

11 hours ago

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Sun emits a mid-level solar flare

Apr 18, 2014

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 9:03 a.m. EDT on April 18, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

The importance of plumes

Apr 18, 2014

The Hubble Space Telescope is famous for finding black holes. It can pick out thousands of galaxies in a patch of sky the size of a thumbprint. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Hubble provided ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.