29 Apr 2015

NASA balloon pulled down

2:51 pm on 29 April 2015

The NASA scientific balloon launched from Wanaka in March has been deliberately brought down according to the space agency.

The balloon being inflated at Wanaka Airport

The balloon being inflated at Wanaka Airport Photo: SUPPLIED

NASA Balloon programme chief Debora Fairbrother said they noticed an anomaly with the tracking data from the balloon and decided to end the 100 day mission early.

She believed the balloon was leaking gas and NASA flight rules dictated it should be terminated for safety reasons.

NASA was sending a team to Australia to recover the balloon's wreckage and it's flight data.

The balloon was one of a number launched each year by the space agency to study the atmosphere.

Ms Fairbrother said, at the time, the Wanaka launch was highly successful and it was very likely it would become a regular launch site.

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