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Scientific Ballooning's Buoyant Mood

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Science  28 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5479, pp. 534-536
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5479.534

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PALESTINE, TEXAS-- For the past decade, scientific ballooning has been in a steady decline, but a comeback is now in the works here at the National Scientific Balloon Facility (NSBF). This year's Decadal Review of astronomy has for the first time recommended that NASA increase support for this oft-neglected stepchild of the space program. And in June, the NSBF completed a milestone test flight of its Ultra-Long Duration Balloon, a sealed balloon capable of carrying several tons to 37,000 meters for 100 days that could make balloons competitive with satellites for doing research.