Weather and other balloons: USA

From: Ed Cannon (
Date: Fri May 25 2001 - 16:54:09 PDT

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    I think/hope that this is on-topic due as it can relate to spurious 
    visual satellite sightings.
    According to the following NOAA Web site, USA weather balloons two 
    meters in diameter are launched twice per day every day, usually at 
    00:00 and 12:00 UTC:

    It says that they can reach an altitude of 35 km and drift 200 km
    in flights lasting up to two hours.
    I'm not sure what all types of research balloons might be launched
    in the USA for other purposes, but there is a Web site for the 
    National Scientific Balloon Facility (NSBF):

    One of the pages on their site includes this statement: "Today, 
    payloads weighing 5000 pounds are quite common and balloons of 20 
    to 30 MCF are flown routinely."  ("MCF" means million cubic feet, a 
    unit for measuring the volume of the [inflated] balloon.)  I don't
    have any idea how often "routinely" means.
    The time or two that I've seen one of the large balloons, they have
    been very impressive!  But that was long before I got into watching 
    I have no idea about balloons used by other countries, although 
    perhaps there's information online.  I know I've read recently
    about Australian research balloon flights.
    Ed Cannon - - Austin, Texas, USA
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    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri May 25 2001 - 16:54:43 PDT