In this corner: a multi-million dollar NASA-sponsored space balloon, crashing magnificently in the Australian desert. In the other: an dark SUV of indeterminate make and model. I'm not a betting man, but I'd say the smart money's on the balloon.
It's not clear yet what caused the failure—apparently conditions at the launch were pristine—but fortunately no humans was injured. The scientists at the Balloon Launching Centre (which would be really wonderful to have on a business card) were reportedly devastated, but are keeping their chins up: a launch scheduled for May will go forward as planned. Although this time folks may want to park a bit further upwind. [ABC Australia]