Status Report

Ultra-Thin-Film Balloon reached the highest altitude

By SpaceRef Editor
August 15, 2002
Filed under ,

Favored by fine weather conditions, an ultra-thin-film balloon (BU60)
made of polyethylene film 3.4 micron thick with a volume of 60,000m3 was
launched from Sanriku Balloon Center at 6:35 on May 23, 2002. The
balloon kept ascending slowly at a speed of 265m per minute and
successfully reached the altitude of 53.0km, which is 1.2km higher than
the world record altitude of 51.8km, establishing a new world record for
the first time in 30 years.

When the balloon reached the altitude of 53.0km, all members of the
balloon test team as well as Sanriku Balloon Center Director Haruto
Hirosawa gathered in a receiving room and applauded this great success.

“We are convinced that this success was brought about by concerting all
development efforts including the development of ultra-thin-film that
started in 1997, development of adhesive agent for balloons, balloon
manufacturing under strict quality control, development of air-packed
ultra-thin-film balloon launch system, the semi-dynamic balloon launch
method that Japan has developed, etc. Last but not least, we express our
deepest appreciation to all manufacturers, test team members and local
supporters involved in this balloon project.”

[NOTE: An image supporting this release is available at ]

SpaceRef staff editor.