NASA loses a balloon in the outback
The Nuclear Compton Telescope (PI Boggs at UCB’s SSL), a soft γ-ray telescope designed for balloon launch, observations in the stratosphere, and recovery, crashed because of a wind gust during an attempted launch in Australia earlier today.
ABC News (Oz) on youtube
NCT is an wide field imaging telescope with polarization capability.
Science goals were galactic nuclear emission lines for studies of nuclear synthesis in supernovae, and γ-ray polarization studies.
It flew last year out of the SFBF in New Mexico – guess they were going after southern sources and the galactic center this year.
NCT payload – click to embiggen
Not quite enough crush padding, I’d say…
The single most annoying thing about this, is that the vast majority of the news sources that have covered this did not say what was on the f#cking balloon!
Just said “expensive scientific equipment…”
WHAT equipment? HOW expensive. Argh!
It is not like it takes any actual time to find this out given a computer and an internet connection.
Eric Bellm at Dispatches from the Field liveblogged it.