Sep 19 2016

KSA Forms Partnership with KerBalloons for Atmospheric Research

KerBalloonsFlagThis week the KSA signed a deal with KerBalloons that has been formulating for the past few months prior to the start of operations at KSC. The balloons manufactured by KerBalloons will provide the Agency with a low-cost platform from which to deploy science instruments for both research and testing. Even the engineering department at KSC has expressed interest in using the balloons to test part crash tolerances from large heights (“way better than lugging things to the top of the VAB and chucking them off. Safer too”, says Lead Engineer Simon Kerman).

The first balloon products to be received by the KSA are 0.625m units for testing the new manufacturing of smaller air envelopes, which has required a newer processing than is customary employed by the airship industry, which mainly produces large dirigible envelopes for cargo/passenger airships. Eventually KerBalloons expects its products to carry aloft larger and heavier payloads.

The first launch of a KerBalloon will take place this Wednesday ahead of a possible rocket launch on Thursday, carrying aloft two science packages that will later be deployed on a Progeny Mk2 rocket. The exact time is unknown, but expected to be around 2nd sunrise when winds are calmer and blowing off the sea to ensure recovery over land.