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Acting U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand Visits NASA’s Super Pressure Balloon Operations in Wanaka
March 23, 2017 at Wanaka Airport, New Zealand
The acting U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, Chargé d’Affaires Candy Green (second from right), visited Wanaka Airport March 23 to see NASA’s Super Pressure Balloon Operations first-hand. With (left to right), Rachel Gregg, Engineering Physics undergraduate student, Colorado School of Mines; Debbie Fairbrother, Chief, NASA’s Balloon Program Office; and Angela Olinto, University of Chicago, Principal Investigator of the Extreme Universe Space Observatory (seen in the background).
Credit: NASA/Bill Rodman
EUSO-SPB current statusApril 20, 2017

Preparations are complete in Wanaka, New Zealand for the balloon's launch, which will happen as soon as scientists and engineers have the right weather conditions. Researchers hope the balloon will stay afloat for up to 100 days, thereby setting a record for an ultra-long duration flight.

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EUSO-SPB missionThe EUSO-SPB instrument will be carried by a superpressure balloon designed and launched by NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility.

EUSO-SPB emerged from the JEM-EUSO project and uses the same principle of harnessing the earth's atmosphere to detect ultra high-energy cosmic rays. EUSO-SPB will observe the nitrogen fluorescence and Cherenkov photons produced by extensive air showers.

EUSO-SPB CollaborationEUSO-SPB was funded by NASA (award NNX13AH54G at the University of Chicago, PI Institution, award NNX13AH55G at Colorado School of Mines, Deputy PI Institution, Marshall Space Flight Center, award NNX13AH53G at University of Alabama, Huntsville, and award NNX16AG27G at City University of New York) and by the JEM-EUSO international collaboration.