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: Lunar explorers will walk at higher speeds than thought

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

Lunar explorers will walk at higher speeds than thought

7 hours ago

Anyone who has seen the movies of Neil Armstrong's first bounding steps on the moon couldn't fail to be intrigued by his unusual walking style. But, contrary to popular belief, the astronaut's peculiar walk ...

Space: The final frontier... open to the public

9 hours ago

Historically, spaceflight has been reserved for the very healthy. Astronauts are selected for their ability to meet the highest physical and psychological standards to prepare them for any unknown challenges. However, with ...

NASA releases IRIS footage of X-class flare (w/ Video)

9 hours ago

On Sept. 10, 2014, NASA's newest solar observatory, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, mission joined other telescopes to witness an X-class flare – an example of one of the strongest solar flares—on ...

NASA's Maven spacecraft reaches Mars this weekend

9 hours ago

Mars, get ready for another visitor or two. This weekend, NASA's Maven spacecraft will reach the red planet following a 10-month journey spanning 442 million miles (711 million kilometers).

User comments : 0