[ExI] Balloon to space

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Thu Jan 8 23:17:41 UTC 2009


This seven-million-cubic-foot super-pressure balloon is the largest
single-cell, super-pressure, fully-sealed balloon ever flown. When
development ends, NASA will have a 22 million-cubic-foot balloon that
can carry a one-ton instrument to an altitude of more than 110,000
feet, which is three to four times higher than passenger planes fly.

Ultra-long duration missions using the super pressure balloon cost
considerably less than a satellite and the scientific instruments
flown can be retrieved and launched again, making them ideal very-high
altitude research platforms.

Spaceship 1 was only about 3 to 4 tons loaded weight and launched at
50,000 ft from White Knight 1.
So a higher launch from balloon with less fuel (less weight) seems
nearly within reach.


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