The UFO Circling the Earth Really Is a Weather Balloon This Time

The Super Pressure Ballon prepares to take flight (Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
The Super Pressure Ballon prepares to take flight (Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

This is what NASA’s super pressure balloon looks like on the ground. And this—pictured below—is what it looks like floating in the air at night. Perhaps you’ve already spotted the problem.

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The earlier version of the Super Pressure Balloon in flight over Australia (Image: Kris J Parker/Victorian Storm Chasers Facebook)
The earlier version of the Super Pressure Balloon in flight over Australia (Image: Kris J Parker/Victorian Storm Chasers Facebook)

NASA just launched the latest version of its 18-million-cubic-foot super pressure balloon late last night. It’s an updated version of a similar stratosphere-monitoring balloon that sprung a leak only one month into its journey a year ago, alarming some Australian residents who caught a glimpse of its spectral form as it crashed down for an impromptu landing. This time around, NASA hopes to keep the balloon aloft at just over 100,000 feet for a full 100 days, as originally planned for the ill-fated balloon flight last year.

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In addition to some technical adjustments to the balloon’s systems, NASA is also taking measures that could cut down on UFO reports from non-NASA observers who spot the orb floating eerily overhead. The new effort includes a publicly-accessible real-time map that tracks the balloon’s progress. You can even use it to plan a sighting! (The balloon’s maiden voyage will keep it mostly in the southern hemisphere, sorry America.)

You can check out the map right here—and reassure yourself that sometimes what you’re seeing really is just a weather balloon.

The progress of Super Pressure Ballon 2 so far (Image:NASA)
The progress of Super Pressure Ballon 2 so far (Image:NASA)

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grendelthing

Citizens of Earth, Stop Reporting NASA’s Science Balloon as a UFO

Yeah. Because that’s why people report something as an Unidentified Flying Object. Because they know it’s a baloon.