An advance team from NASA's Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) arrived at Wanaka Airport last week to start initial preparations and the rest of the team will begin arriving in mid-March.
This year NASA’s focus will be two-fold – the ongoing testing and development of its super pressure balloon and flying a new payload from the University of Chicago's Extreme Universe Space Observatory (EUSO-SPB). The EUSO-SPB is a high-energy cosmic ray particle astrophysics payload that will test a fluorescence detector and its supporting technologies under the severe operating conditions of the stratosphere. This suborbital flight is a precursor for a mission being planned to launch and install the EUSO telescope on the International Space Station.
Photo: NASA launch at Wanaka 2016.