Skip to Content
Uncategorized

NASA Science Balloon Crashes

In the Australian outback, a huge NASA spacecraft has taken a hard fall.

What was suppose to be a regular day of balloon-launching in the Australian outback turned into balloon-dodging. A NASA balloon equipped with two telescopes to survey the sky at an altitude of 36,576 meters crashed on lift-off–a gust of wind sent the balloon sailing horizontally, it wiped through a fence and overturned a sports utility vehicle before smashing into the ground. The balloon narrowly missed nearby spectators.

Credit: Emma Sleath, Australian
Broadcasting Corporation

It’s unclear how much damage the onboard science instruments sustained but by the looks of the video (below) of the incident, taken by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), it can’t be good. The balloon was carrying a gammy-ray telescope built by astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, called the Nuclear Compton Telescope meant to study astrophysical sources in space.

According to ABC news, the crash was “gut-wrenching” for researchers watching, who have spent many years and ample resources on the multi-million dollar balloon. It was built by NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine, Texas.

The researchers have been picking up the pieces and will conduct a full investigation of the accident. Meanwhile the Balloon Launching Center in Alice Springs will prepare for another balloon launch in May.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.

lucid dreaming concept
lucid dreaming concept

I taught myself to lucid dream. You can too.

We still don’t know much about the experience of being aware that you’re dreaming—but a few researchers think it could help us find out more about how the brain works.

panpsychism concept
panpsychism concept

Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?

The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.