The second permanent launch site of the NASA balloon program is the Scientific Balloon Flight Facility located inside the boundaries of the Fort Sumner Municipal Airport on the northeast side of the town. Ft. Sumner is about 3 hours drive east and a bit south of Albuquerque, in De Baca county, New Mexico .

The airport was established in the 1920's when the Transcontinental Air Transport company built it as part of its coast-to-coast air passenger network. It was abandoned after the company's plan collapsed during the Great Depression being reopened ten years after by the Army Air Corps which used it as training base during the World War II. After the war the airport and facilities were transferred to the town of Fort Sumner under which control still remains today, serving for operations of small private planes. A very large hanger, two runways, and a large apron area were the primary assets of the airport.

In 1985, the NASA balloon program made a flight safety analysis, identifying a significant risk associated with balloon flights launched at Palestine, and traversing to the east. The primary safety issue was a balloon failure occurring during ascent in the area around Palestine, along with a minor hazard in the planned impact zone of the more densely populated areas to the east. As a result, additional safety requirements were imposed on turnaround and easterly flights of heavy payloads (exceeding 1,600 kilograms). At the same time, a survey was performed in 1986 to identify a new semi-permanent western launch location resulting in the selection for the first time of Fort Sumner as an acceptable site for balloon operations. The only setbacks were related to the surrounding landscape. Fort Sumner is at 4,000 feet altitude in a desert environment, and is subject to a lot of low level winds during the night and during the days in the spring time. One of the reasons that NSBF first chose Fort Sumner was because the presence of the large old World War II airplane hanger that could be used for payload assembly and checkout. The first balloon launch was conducted there in March 1986 while UCAR was the manager of the NSBF. A leased crane was used as a payload launch vehicle.

In the late 1980s, NASA spent about $100.000 to construct large insulated walls and air conditioning inside the hanger so payloads could use the place in a controlled environment. Three bays with tall sliding doors that opened into the main hanger area provided a workable area for scientists and their payloads with large steel A-frames used to suspend the payloads. Another flight safety risk analysis performed in 1988 resulted in performing all stratospheric turnaround balloon flights from Ft. Sumner rather than Palestine. The safety risk associated with stratospheric turnaround flights going toward Houston, TX and other populated areas to the south became unacceptable by NASA.

This forced CSBF to adopt a new operational approach within the NASA Balloon Program using Palestine, as the principal center for scientific ballooning, but only for missions traversing to the west. Ft. Sumner, NM became the primary candidate as a permanent alternate launch site to meet easterly and turnaround flight requirements: where payloads could be impacted in moderate to low population density areas but offering a high probability for recovery. These safety conditions ruled out automatically all areas east of the Mississippi River due to high population issues. Thus the only part of the country which fulfilled the safety and operational requirements was the southwestern area of the US.

A detailed survey was conducted over New Mexico, Arizona, and southern Nevada and 30 candidate sites were identified. A comprehensive study was performed on these places giving consideration to various factors including safety, geography, air traffic activity, meteorology, and existing facilities. Art Gilcrease was the person in charge of that study. He did an exhaustive study for alternate sites and in December 1988 the studys concluded that Fort Sumner was the best location. The site not only best met the selection criteria but offered the advantage of being complementary to the Palestine Base, from the standpoint of downrange tracking and staging of recovery forces.

Infrastructure and Facilities

Immediately an extensive effort was made to build permanent facilities there. The large NASA High Bay building was approved for construction by NASA in the early 1990s but the agency first had to purchase the land at the airport from the city of Fort Sumner since the US federal government cannot build facilities on land not owned by the government. It took a couple of years to complete that transaction.

The building is a 12.2 meter high-bay with over 600 square meters of air conditioned floor area that is used to check and integrate up to four scientific payloads at a time and provide work areas for operations and support personnel. Inside the building structure a 4500 kg monorail crane is used to move gondolas and equipment between two 9.1 meter high doors on either ends of the building.

The second phase of construction of the high bay was completed in mid 1994 with the addition of paved areas around the building, and the completion of a second and third floor with enclosed telemetry station, weather station, and a complete flight control center. A roof platform was added to serve as mounting structure for line-of-sight telemetry antennas and in recent years to mount two cameras allowing to follow the balloon launch operations through the internet. Near the main building, a non-magnetic frame (which some people know as the "Pi" frame) is used to calibrate the magnetic sensors on balloon payloads.

Since the completion of the Fort Sumner base, the operational concept for routine support of line-of-sight zero pressure balloon flights in the Continental US has been stratospheric turn-around flights there, and flights traveling west from Palestine in the summer. Pre and Post-turnaround flights from Fort Sumner are supported using Palestine as a downrange station for easterly going flights while a mobile telemetry station is located at the Winzlow airport in Arizona when the balloons are heading due west.

The first launches were performed using a rented crane with outriggers on to keep it from tipping over to the side. Then NSBF owned a 35 ton crane that was used for a long time, but during a balloon launch under heavy wind the front end of the crane was lifted off the ground and turned the crane about 90 degrees. Taking account that these cranes were not very easy to use for balloon launches, the need for a specially made transportable launch vehicle to handle payloads soon become evident. The large NSBF based payload launch vehicle, "Tiny Tim", was not able to be moved outside Palestine due to its extremely wide wheelbase and inability to be easily disassembled. This limitation resulted in the design and construction of the Mobile Launch Vehicle (MLV).

The MLV was designed and fabricated by the engineers and technicians at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. They tried to award a contract to build the vehicle commercially, but they could not get acceptable bids from the big companies so they decided to build it within their own organization, with NASA approval. As they had a shop in Las Cruces that had been building trailers and vans for instrumentation/telemetry jobs they were confident on the task.

The MLV is basically the motor and drive wheel unit from a Michigan brand large articulated front end loader. The part of the MLV in front of the articulation point used the articulation hardware from the original machine with the specially designed structure and boom with a 24 foot wheelbase and solid foam filled wheels that could be removed for transportation.

The vehicle is transportable however it is used primarily at the Fort Sumner facility where it provides heavy lift payload capabilities. It has two configurations, one for transporting on the highway, the other for launch. Transition from road configuration to launch configuration can be accomplished by four people in four hours, with the reverse taking six hours. In its launch configuration, the vehicle weighs over 50 tons, measures approximately 13 meters in length and 7 meters in width at its widest point, and has a launch boom that can be raised about 12 meters above the ground.

This unique, one-of-a-kind, vehicle was delivered to Fort Sumner in 1991 and was declared operational during the Fall campaign the next year. It is used along with a spool mounted in a large bulldozer type vehicle which holds the semi-inflated balloon at launch time. The dynamic launch capabilities of the MLV are for balloons with a gross inflation of 6727 kilograms while the suspended load is in the order of 3636 kilograms.

After a while, the MLV was renamed as "Big Bill" after the nick name for Bill Harrison, one of the NSBF mechanical technicians who grew up in Palestine and started working at the balloon base when he was young. He was the primary driver of Tiny Tim and also the Mobile Launch Vehicle (MLV) and a very appreciated member of the program staff.

Current two operational balloon launch campaigns are conducted at Ft. Sumner, NM each year. These occur in the May-June and September-October timeframe surrounding the two stratospheric turnaround events. The NASA Ft. Sumner facility has grown in capability over the years and now includes a machine shop and still utilizes the old World War II hanger as a work area, storage area for support vehicles, and a hanger for NSBF aircraft during balloon flight operations.

Table of balloons launched from Fort Sumner

DateHourFlight DurationExperimentPayload landing place or cause of the failure
3/2/198716:15 utc---BALLOON MATERIAL TEST20 miles N of Lawton, Oklahoma, US
3/6/198714:29 utc---BALLOON MATERIAL TEST3 miles W of Ralls, Texas, US
4/2/198722:28 utc---102 CM FAR INFRARED TELESCOPE15 miles NW of Waco, Texas, US
5/8/198719:31 utc---GAMMA RAY EXPERIMENT18 miles N of Fort Sumner, New Mexico, US
11/18/198720:10 utc4 h 27 mHIGH RESOLUTION INTERFEROMETER23 miles SW of Ardmore, Oklahoma, US
12/3/198718:40 utc3 h 10 mSF-372 MATERIAL TEST21 miles SW of Guthrie, Texas, US
12/9/198716:19 utc4 h 10 mSF-372 MATERIAL TEST9 miles W of Haskell, Texas, US
2/11/198816:23 utc---SF-372 MATERIAL TEST7 miles NW of Texico, Texas, US
9/30/198814:54 utc---ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES20 miles NW of Carrizozo, New Mexico, US
10/8/198823:37 utc---EXITE-1 (Energetic X-Ray Imaging Telescope Experiment)24 miles SSW of Wichita Falls, Texas, US
10/17/198800:00 utc---MIT RADIOMETER27 miles S of Amarillo, Texas, US
10/26/198814:12 utc---SDS (Solar Disk Sextant)19 miles NW of McAllister, US
4/18/198911:54 utc---SDS (Solar Disk Sextant)7 miles N of Onley, Texas, US
4/19/198921:19 utc---HIGH RESOLUTION INTERFEROMETER13 miles E of Dimmit, Texas, US
9/26/198914:16 utc23 hJPL OMS Gondola11 miles NW of Gallup, New Mexico, US
9/29/19890:47 utc---COMPTON GAMMA RAY TELESCOPE2 miles S of Des Moines, New Mexico, US
10/6/198923:31 utc---MIT RADIOMETER30 miles SW of Hobart, Oklahoma, US
10/8/198915:41 utc---UV O3 PHOTOMETER5 miles NE of Hobart, Oklahoma, US
10/13/198915:53 utc5 hBALLOON STRESS INDEX TEST #112 miles NNW of Plainview, Texas, US
10/19/198922:50 utc---COSMIC RAY EXPERIMENT6 Nm E Jayton, Texas, US
10/24/198913:39 utc---CRYOGENIC AIR COLLECTOR50 miles ENE of Plainview, Texas, US
11/2/198916:12 utc---TEST OF NEW BALLOON20 miles W of Childress, Texas, US
11/9/1989 ---PAYLOAD UNKNOWNAborted flight
11/15/198923:13 utc---MAX (Millimeter wavelength Anisotropy eXperiment)30 miles SE of Roswell, New Mexico, US
11/18/19890:59 utc---INFRARED EXPERIMENT20 miles SE of Clovis, New Mexico, US
5/4/199014:27 utc---SDS (Solar Disk Sextant)15 miles W of Sayre, Oklahoma, US
5/5/199013:56 utc7 hBALLOON STRESS INDEX TEST #210 miles W of Tulia, Texas, US
5/12/199014:32 utc---UV O3 PHOTOMETER8 miles W of Dimmit, Texas, US
5/21/1990 ---PAYLOAD UNKNOWNAborted flight
5/31/199013:09 utc21 hGRIS (Gamma-Ray Imaging Spectrometer)5 miles NE of Show Low, Arizona, US
6/4/199013:40 utc28 hFIRS-2 (far infrared Fourier transform spectrometer) / UV O3 PHOTOMETER22 miles NW of Prescott, Arizona, US
7/10/199014:07 utc4 hBALLOON STRESS INDEX TEST #38 miles S of Belen, New Mexico, US
7/28/199015:15 utc4 hBALLOON STRESS INDEX TEST #49 miles NW of Corona, New Mexico, US
9/19/199014:43 utc---ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES10 miles NNW of Roswell, New Mexico, US
9/26/19900:43 utcF 44 hJACEE 9 (Japanese-American Collaborative Emulsion Experiment)13 miles NW of Olathe, Kansas, US
9/27/199015:06 utc---MKIV INTERFEROMETER + UV O3 PHOTOMETER47 miles ESE of Childress, Texas, US
10/9/199016:06 utc---IBEX (Infrared Balloon-Borne Experiment)10 miles NE of Seymour, Texas, US
10/11/199014:06 utc---SDS (Solar Disk Sextant)13 miles S of Shawnee, Oklahoma, US
10/23/199023:48 utc---ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES17 miles E of Lockney, Texas, US
10/28/199014:45 utc---SUPERPRESSURE BALLOON10 miles S of Fort Sumner, New Mexico, US
10/30/199014:53 utc---ELBBO (Extended Life Balloon Borne Observatories Program)4.5 miles NW of Kenna, New Mexico, US
1/30/199115:25 utc---LONG DURATION BALLOON18 miles S of Roswell, New Mexico, US
3/29/199115:05 utc5 hBALLOON STRESS INDEX TEST #514 miles ESE of Childress, Texas, US
3/31/199113:05 utc---IN SITU ClO MEASUREMENTS20 Miles S of Texico, New Mexico, US
5/5/199114:03 utc---MKIV INTERFEROMETER12 miles SW of Grants, New Mexico, US
5/8/199113:13 utc7 hBALLOON STRESS INDEX TEST #623 miles ENE of Roswell, New Mexico, US
6/16/199113:30 utc---LONG DURATION BALLOON40 miles NNE of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, US
6/18/199114:07 utc---NSP TEST (?)Balloon failure. Payload landed 9 miles SW of Melrose, Texas, US
9/17/199113:54 utc---CRYOGENIC AIR COLLECTOR5 miles N of Lidia, New Mexico, US
9/23/199114:00 utc23 hMASS (Matter Antimatter Superconducting Spectrometer)23 miles W of Corona, New Mexico, US
9/25/199115:40 utc30 hRICH (Ring Imaging Cerenkov Counter)15 miles W of Newman, Texas, US
10/1/19918:53 utc---UV O3 PHOTOMETER37 miles SE of Liberal, Kansas, US
11/8/19918:52 utc---ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES10 miles W of Pauls valley, Oklahoma, US
5/4/199212:46 utc---HIGH RESOLUTION IR SOLAR OBSERVATION15 Miles NW of Childress, Texas, US
5/4/199211:04 utc---IBEX (Infrared Balloon-Borne Experiment)10 Miles NW of Monihans, Texas, US
5/29/199213:13 utc---FIRS-2 (far infrared Fourier transform spectrometer) + UV O3 PHOTOMETER18 miles S of Gallup, New Mexico, US
9/14/199213:30 utc---MKIV INTERFEROMETER39 miles NE of Holzbrook, Arizona, US
9/22/1992 ---PAYLOAD UNKNOWNAborted launch
9/29/199213:56 utc8 hFIRS-2 (far infrared Fourier transform spectrometer) + UV O3 PHOTOMETER14 miles WSW of Canadian, Texas, US
9/30/199212:58 utc~ 10 hSDS (Solar Disk Sextant)13 miles SW of Quanah, Texas, US
10/16/199221:11 utc---SCRIBE (Stratospheric Cryogenic Interferometer Balloon Experiment)50 miles ESE of Plainview, Texas, US
11/5/199214:08 utc---CLC PARACHUTE TEST5 miles S of Clarendon, Texas, US
5/3/199314:34 utc---8000# PAYLOAD TEST FLIGHT15 miles E of Guthrie, Texas, US
5/25/1993 ---PAYLOAD UNKNOWNAborted flight
5/31/199312:15 utc---IBEX (Infrared Balloon-Borne Experiment)20 miles W of Belen, New Mexico, US
6/11/199314:50 utc---HIGH RESOLUTION IR SOLAR OBSERVATION20 miles S of Pueblo, New Mexico, US
9/1/1993 ---PAYLOAD UNKNOWNAborted flight
9/8/199300:32 utc~ 25 hTS932 miles W of Eloy, Arizona, US
9/14/199323:08 utc37 h 30 mGRIP-2 (Gamma-Ray Imaging Payload)25 miles NE of Lake Havasu, Arizona, US
9/23/199314:10 utc24 hGRIS (Gamma-Ray Imaging Spectrometer)5 miles SE of Hobart, Oklahoma, US
9/25/199317:54 utc---MKIV INTERFEROMETER + UV O3 PHOTOMETER23 miles SE of Abilene, Texas, US
9/29/199317:37 utc~ 24 hBUGS-4 (Bristol University Gas Scintillator)10 miles SE of Woodward, Oklahoma, US
10/11/1993 ---PAYLOAD UNKNOWNAborted flight
10/27/199313:38 utc---BLIMP (Balloon Launched INTEGRAL Model Payload)3 miles NE of Gotebo, Oklahoma, US
1/23/199415:17 utc11 hFGE (Flare Genesis Experiment)3 miles SE of Paducah, Texas, US
5/3/199413:13 utcF 26 hHEAT (High-Energy Antimatter Telescope)6 miles W of Wellington, Texas, US
5/15/199412:37 utc---IBEX (Infrared Balloon-borne EXperiment)35 miles W of Pueblo, Colorado, US
5/22/199414:29 utc22 hMKIV INTERFEROMETER + FIRS-2 (far infrared Fourier transform spectrometer) + UV O3 PHOTOMETER8 miles SW of Datil, New Mexico, US
9/17/19948:15 local32 hPRONAOS (Projet National d'Astronomie Submillimetrique)25 miles SE of Gallup, New Mexico, US
9/26/199413:01:50~ 10 hSDS (Solar Disk Sextant)15 miles N of Clovis, New Mexico, US
10/9/199407:57:34---UV O3 PHOTOMETER20 miles SE of Childress, Texas, US
10/19/199415:53:21---8000# PAYLOAD TEST FLIGHT10 miles N of Elk City, Oklahoma, US
4/1/199513:28 utc---LONG DURATION BALLOON22 miles SE of Corona, New Mexico, US
9/27/199512:56 utc20 hSUPER-JACEE (Japanese-American Collaborative Emulsion Experiment)8 miles S of Medicine Lodge, Kansas, US
9/28/199510:49 utc11 hSOFCAL (Scintillating Optical Fiber Calorimeter)33miles SW of Guymon, Oklahoma, US
10/1/199512:48 utc10 hSDS (Solar Disk Sextant)5 miles NNW of San Jon, Nuevo Mexico, US
10/6/199515:11 utc14 h 30 mLAPEX (Large-Area Phoswich balloon Experiment for hard-X-ray astronomy)22 miles ESE of Roswell, Nuevo Mexico, US
10/10/19958:22 utc9 h 30 mUPPER ATMOSPHERE RESEARCH5 miles W of Haskell, Texas, US
10/14/199513:37 utc8 hHIGH ENERGY ASTROPHYSICS17 miles NW of Wichita Falls, Texas, US
12/9/199523:35 utc8 hXPER (X band Experiment)20 miles SSO of Lawton, Oklahoma, US
2/2/1996 ---HACME (HEMT Advanced Cosmic Microwave Explorer)Aborted flight
2/11/199622:55 utc21 hHACME (HEMT Advanced Cosmic Microwave Explorer)20 miles NE of Prescott, Arizona, US
6/2/199600:17 utc5 h 10 mHACME (HEMT Advanced Cosmic Microwave Explorer)Balloon failure at 80.000 ft. Landing 3 miles NE of Taiban, Nuevo Mexico, US
6/10/199615:23 utc5 hALIAS II + LACE (Lightweight Airborne Chromatograph Experiment) + UV O3 PHOTOMETER + ARGUS13 miles E of Corona, Nuevo Mexico, US
9/21/199613:14 utc5 hrALIAS II + UV O3 PHOTOMETER + ARGUS5 miles N of Dora, Nuevo Mexico, US
9/22/199612:41 utc33 hPRONAOS (Projet National d'Astronomie Submillimetrique)5 miles E of Pastura, New Mexico, US
9/28/199614:13 utc15 hMKIV INTERFEROMETER15 miles N of Lordsburg, New Mexico, US
10/10/199613:29 utc10 h 50 mSDS (Solar Disk Sextant)6 miles of Afton, Texas, US
10/13/199616:27 utc9 h 30 mCOSMIC AND HELIOSPHERIC PHYSICS9 miles N of Elk City, Oklahoma, US
10/23/199615:00 utc---SOLAR CELL CALIBRATIONFlight aborted
11/8/1996 14 h 30 mQMAP10 miles of Shamrock, Texas, US
3/30/199715:28 utc10 hTEST FLIGHT8 miles N of Mountainair, New Mexico, US
5/7/199716:16 utc18 h 30 mEXITE-2 (Energetic X-Ray Imaging Telescope Experiment) + MIXE-2 (Marshall Imaging X-ray Experiment)W Oklahoma City, US
5/20/199713:43 utc26 hSOFCAL (Scintillating Optical Fiber Calorimeter)14 miles SW of Congress, Arizona, US
5/24/199713:24 utc5 hCAPRICE 2 (Cosmic AntiParticle Ring Imaging Cherenkov)13 miles of Corona, New Mexico, US
9/24/199714:04 utc26 h 50 mTIGER (Trans-Iron Galactic Element Recorder)8 miles SE of Coldwater, Kansas, US
10/4/199716:25 utc21 hRICH II (Ring Imaging Cerenkov Detector)11 miles W of Apache, Oklahoma, US
10/15/199712:43 utc7 h 50 mHEXIS (High Energy X-ray Imaging Spectrometer)W of Wichita Falls, Texas, US
3/20/199823:11:28---TEST FLIGHT3 miles S of Roaring Springs, Texas, US
4/9/199812:35:49---TEST FLIGHT12 miles W of Electra, Texas, US
4/22/19982:01 utc6 h 30 mBACH (Balloon Air Cherenkov)15 miles SSE of Sweetwater, Texas, US
5/16/199812:42 utc1 h 30 mCAPRICE 2 (Cosmic AntiParticle Ring Imaging Cherenkov)Balloon failure. Payload landed 2.6 miles SE of Ragland, New Mexico, US
5/18/199813:18:21---OMS Gondola (ALIAS II + UV O3 PHOTOMETER + ARGUS)6 miles NE of Glenrip, New Mexico, US
5/21/199812:34:1322 hHEXIS (High Energy X-ray Imaging Spectrometer)15 miles SE of Claude, Texas, US
5/24/199812:32:06---HETERODYNE RADIOMETER20 miles NE of Santa Rosa, New Mexico, US
5/28/199814:13 utc20 hCAPRICE 2 (Cosmic AntiParticle Ring Imaging Cherenkov)15 miles N of Heber, Arizona, US
9/28/199816:21 utc---TOP HAT5 miles SW of Channing, Texas, US
10/13/1998 ---ULDB (Ultra Long Duration Balloon)--- No Data ---
10/15/1998 ---ULDB (Ultra Long Duration Balloon)--- No Data ---
5/7/199913:26 utc9 h 30 mLXeGRIT (Liquid Xenon Gama-Ray Imaging Telescope)10 miles NW of Fairview, Oklahoma, US
5/30/199913:07 utc24 h 40 mHEAT pbar (High-Energy Antimatter Telescope)22 miles SW of Carlsbad, New Mexico, US
9/20/199916:36 utc31 h 50 mTRACER (Transition Radiation Array for Cosmic Energetic Radiation)16 miles S of Roswell, New Mexico, US
9/22/199912:24 utc11.5 hPRONAOS (Projet National d'Astronomie Submillimetrique)16 miles S of Alamogordo, New Mexico, US
10/3/199913:43 utc---UPPER ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH40 miles of Amarillo, Texas, US
10/23/199914:50 utc2 hULDB (Ultra Long Duration Balloon)3 miles S of Melrose, New Mexico, US
5/3/200016:05 utc5 mPARACHUTE TEST200 meters from launch pad, Fort Sumner, New Mexico, US
5/20/200014:23 utc---BEAST (Background Emission Anisotropy Scanning Telescope)5 miles E of Sunray, Texas, US
5/21/200016:45 utc1 h 30 mHEAT pbar (High-Energy Antimatter Telescope)Balloon failure. Payload recovered 30 kms W of Clovis, New Mexico, US
6/3/200014:34 utc25 h 30 mHEAT pbar (High-Energy Antimatter Telescope)20 miles N of Cedar Ridge, Arizona, US
6/4/200012:40 utc30 hULDB (Ultra Long Duration Balloon)2 miles N of Bernardillo, New Mexico, US
9/19/200013:55 utc30 h 40 mHERO (High Energy Replicated Optics)10 miles E of Naturita, Colorado, US
9/25/200013:53 utc~ 25 hBACH (Balloon Air Cherenkov)8 miles N of Snowflake, Arizona, US
10/4/200016:39 utc26 h 30 mLXeGRIT (Liquid Xenon Gama-Ray Imaging Telescope)14 miles SW of Buckeye, Arizona, US
10/16/200013:46 utc9 h 41 mBEAST (Background Emission Anisotropy Scanning Telescope)6 miles S of Gotebo, Oklahoma, US
5/23/200116:22 utc24 hHERO (High Energy Replicated Optics)25 miles of South King, Arizona, US
5/26/200113:38 utc28 hULDB (Ultra Long Duration Balloon) - SUPPORT SYSTEMS TEST10 miles NW of Gila Bend, Arizona, US
9/20/200115:15 utc---BESS (Balloon-borne Experiment with a Superconducting Spectrometer)Balloon failure. Payload landed 40 miles NNW of Melrose, New Mexico, US
9/24/200114:15 utc17 h 47 mBESS (Balloon-borne Experiment with a Superconducting Spectrometer)25 miles SSW of Moriarty, New Mexico, US
10/4/200113:43 utc8 h 30 mSDS (Solar Disk Sextant)18 miles WSW of CHildress, Texas, US
10/11/200115:03 utc7 h 30 mLDB (Long Duration Balloon) test flight10 miles SW of Littlefield, Texas, Us
11/2/200123:33 utc14 h 32 mARCADE (Absolute Radiometer for Cosmology, Astrophysics, and Diffuse Emission)43 miles S of Fort Sumner, New Mexico, US
5/25/200215:12 utc11 h 30 mHEAT pbar (High-Energy Antimatter Telescope)32 miles NE of Socorro, New Mexico, US
9/7/200214:11 utc4 h 40 mSOLAR CELL CALIBRATION50 miles ENE of Albuquerque, New Mexico, US
9/16/200214:02 utc2 h 45 mCOSMIC RAY ASTROPHYSICS43 miles SE of Ft.Sumner, New Mexico, US
9/20/200214:25 utc22 h 30 mMAXIPOL16 miles N of Canadian, New Mexico, US
10/9/200213:30 utc8 h 40 mNEUTRONS SPECTROMETER28 miles NW of Ft. Sumner, New Mexico, US
10/13/200214:11 utc4 h 30 mALIAS II + UV O3 PHOTOMETER43 miles SE of Ft. Sumner, New Mexico, US
10/20/200213:56 utc9 h 25 mALIAS II72 miles SE of Lubbock, Texas, US
5/24/200315:07 utc26 h 33 mMAXIPOL8 miles SW of Wickenberg, Arizona, US
9/1/200313:24 utc9 h 48 mSBI (Solar Bolometric Imager)12 miles SE of Bloomfield, New Mexico, US
9/16/200315:44 utc5 h 24 mOMS (Observations of the Middle Stratosphere) + ALIAS II + UV O3 PHOTOMETER39 miles ENE of Ft. Sumner, New Mexico, US
9/19/200314:03 utc21 h 13 mMKIV INTERFEROMETER + ALIAS II + UV O3 PHOTOMETER66 miles WSW of Phoenix, Arizona, US
9/28/200315:15 utc~ 27 hBLAST (Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope)35 miles SW of Farmington, New Mexico, US
10/1/200317:50 utc4 h 38 mBESS (Balloon-borne Experiment with a Superconducting Spectrometer)22 miles SSE of Portales, New Mexico, US
10/5/200315:24 utc6 h 56 mCWAS (Cryogenic Whole Air Sampler)44 miles ENE of Ft.Sumner, New Mexico, US
10/9/200314:20 utc~ 25 hNEUTRON SPECTROMETER40 miles WNW of Socorro, New Mexico, US
5/3/200415:21 utc5 h 22 m37H BALLOON TEST78 miles W of Roswell, New Mexico, US
5/31/200415:19 utc~ 9 hINFOCµS (International Focusing Optics Collaboration for µCrab Sensitivity)35 miles W of Albuqureque, New Mexico, US
8/15/200413:55 utc---MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) - Subsonic Parachute Test #136 milesW of Ft.Sumner, New Mexico, US
9/11/200414:23 utc2 h 17 minMSL (Mars Science Laboratory) - Subsonic Parachute Test #215 miles S of Ft.Sumner, New Mexico, US
9/16/200415:03 utc27 h 47 mINFOCµS (International Focusing Optics Collaboration for µCrab Sensitivity)22 miles SW of Wickenburg, Arizona, US
9/17/200414;52 utc~ 6 hOMS (Observations of the Middle Stratosphere) + UV O3 PHOTOMETER37 miles NNE of Ft.Sumner, New Mexico, US
9/23/200414:50 utc~ 27 hMKIV INTERFEROMETER + FIRS 2 (Far Infrared Spectrometer) + SLS 2 + BOH (Balloon OH terahertz hetrodyne spectrometer)17 miles W of Lovington, New Mexico, US
9/29/200413:26 utc8 h 9 mCWAS (Cryogenic Whole Air Sampler)20 miles NNE of Clovis, New Mexico, US
10/21/200414:23 utc---MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) - Subsonic Parachute Test #322 miles ENE of Tucumcari, New Mexico, US
10/25/200414:26 utc---MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) - Subsonic Parachute Test #4In SW Oklahoma, US
2/4/200515:56 utc2 h 43 mULDB (Ultra Long Duration Balloon)20 miles NE of Amarillo, Texas, US
5/9/200514:1825 h 14 mHERO (High Energy Replicated Optics)36 miles SW of Dodge City, Kansas, USA
5/18/200518:4525 h 30 mHEFT (High Energy Focusing Telescope)35 miles east-northeast of Holbrook, Arizona, USA
6/1/200517:059 h 7 mNCT (Nuclear Compton Telescope)68 miles northwest of Socorro, NM, USA
6/7/200513:5610 h 39 mFIRST (Far-Infrared Spectroscopy of the Troposphere)44 miles northwest of Fort Sumner (NM) USA
6/18/200510:45 cdt9 h 53 mDSTB (Deep Space Test Bed)In a national forest 13 miles south southwest of Reserve, NM, USA
8/28/200515:154 h 13 mANITA (Antarctic Impulse Transient Antenna)58 miles W southwest of Fort Sumner, NM, USA
9/13/200514:256 h 8 mSOLAR CELL CALIBRATION13 nm SSE of Tucumcari, NM, US
9/20/200516:0522 h 27 mMKIV INTERFEROMETER + UV O3 PHOTOMETER15 nm E of Parker, AZ, US
10/1/200516:345 h 45 mCWAS (Cryogenic Whole-Air Sampler) + Dual-beam In-Situ UV-Absorption Ozone PhotometerAt coordinates 35º 15.49 N, 103º 56.8 W on New Mexico, USA
10/7/200513:308 h 34 mCREST (Cosmic Ray Electron Synchrotron Telescope)15 miles NNW from Hereford, Texas, US
8/26/2006 5 h 15 mSTRATOFILM SF-450 (Technological Flight)20 km NE of Estancia, NM, US
9/4/200615:51~ 18 hsHASP 2006 (High Altitude Student Platform)42 miles N-NW of Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
9/18/2006 ---FIRST (Far-Infrared Spectroscopy of the Troposphere)--- No Data ---
9/25/200613:556 h 24 mHERO (High Energy Replicated Optics)31.5 nm E southeast of Fort Sumner, NM, USA
9/30/200617:085 h 11 mSTRATOFILM SF-430 (Technological Flight)13 nm N of Fort Sumner, NM, US
5/9/200714:485 h 43 mSTRATOFILM SF-450 / 40L (Technological Flight)East of Logan, New Mexico, US, USA
5/27/2007 26 hHERO (High Energy Replicated Optics)Near the New Mexico Arizona border, USA
6/2/200714:2527 hTIGRE (Tracking and Imaging Gamma Ray Experiment)24 miles SE of Holbrook, Arizona, US
6/5/200714:084 h 22 m37H BALLOON TEST41 miles from Fort Sumner, New Mexico, US
8/30/200715:105 h 52 m37H BALLOON TEST80 miles W-SW of Fort Sumner, New Mexico, US
9/2/200713:12~ 19 hHASP 2007 (High Altitude Student Platform)Near Poston, Arizona, USA
9/13/200713:40~ 17 hSBI (Solar Bolometric Imager) + PlanetscopeEast of Winslow, Arizona, USA
9/22/200715:4431 h 24 mJPL REMOTENW of Crownpoint, New Mexico, US, USA
10/3/200715:00~ 9 hSUNRISEBetween the cities of Hartley and Dalhart, Texas, USA
3/30/200814:572 h 20 mMIP (Micro-Instrumentation Package)Balloon failure. Landing 3 miles NW of Hereford, Texas, US
4/4/200814:186 h 8 mTEST FLIGHT - SF430-B6 nm SE of Dimmit, Texas, US
4/13/200813:025 h 45 mMIP (Micro-Instrumentation Package)17 nm ESE of Plainview, Texas, US
4/19/200815:11 utc5 h 34 mTEST FLIGHT - SF450-H--- No Data ---
5/6/200813:15---ULDB (Ultra Long Duration Balloon)--- No Data ---
5/31/200814:5230 h 4 minA-34 Heavy Balloon Test + BalloonSat14 Nautic Miles NW of Winslow, Arizona, US
6/22/20087:18 mdt4 h 7 mULDB (Ultra Long Duration Balloon)--- No Data ---
8/19/2008 ---ULDB (Ultra Long Duration Balloon)Ground Abort - No Flight
9/15/20087:30 mdt~ 32 hHASP 2008 (High Altitude Student Platform)Between Carlsbad and El Paso, Texas, USA
9/27/200815:30~ 30 hA-34 Heavy Balloon TestNW of Hamlin, Texas, US
5/5/200913:599 h 32 mCREST (Cosmic Ray Electron Synchrotron Telescope)60 kms S of Fort Sumner, New mexico, US
5/17/200913:4038 h 37 mNCT (Nuclear Compton Telescope)30 Miles east of Kingman, Arizona, US
6/8/200917:45~ 22 hFIREBALL (Faint Intergalactic-medium Redshifted Emission Balloon)West of Cedar City, Utah, USA
6/11/200914:0213 h 40 mEBEX (E AND B EXPERIMENT)N of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, US
9/11/20098:48 mst13 hHASP 2009 (High Altitude Student Platform)93 km W of Phoenix, Arizona, US
9/19/200913:5023 hSF-430-B W39L TEST FLIGHT + MCT (Mirror Colling Telescope)20 km N from Las Vegas, New Mexico, US
10/9/200914:40 utc~ 10 hProtoEXIST (Energetic X-ray Imaging Survey Telescope)36.5 nautic miles NE of Hays, Kansas, US
10/15/200916:05 utc~ 14 hSTO (Stratospheric Terahertz Observatory)42 km W of Santa Rosa, New Mexico, US
10/17/200914:30 utc~ 10 hW29X BALLOON TEST + SDS (Solar Disk Sextant)West of Olton, Texas, US
8/31/201113:28 utc10 h 9 mHASP 2010 (High Altitude Student Platform)W of Holbrook, Arizona, US
9/8/201114:15 utc15 h 45 mHASP 2011 (High Altitude Student Platform)NW of Ganado, Arizona, US
9/17/201114:40 utc23 hCOFE (Cosmic Foreground Explorer)SE of Phoenix, Arizona, US
9/23/201114:23 utc28 h 20 mGRAPE (Gamma-Ray Polarimeter Experiment) / FACTELN of Paducah, Texas, US
9/23/201117:50 utc25 h 40 mJPL REMOTENE of Fairview, Oklahoma, US
9/28/201114:25 utc4 h 55 mTEST FLIGHT - BALLOON MODEL SF490E of Muleshoe, Texas, US
10/7/201115:00 utc4 hWASP (Wallops Arc Second Pointer)SE of Dalhart, Texas, US
10/13/2011 ---SDS (Solar Disk Sextant)Ground abort. Strong surface winds forced the launch vehicle to perform a run longer than anticipated, reaching the security limit.
10/15/201117:00 utc~ 5 hSDS (Solar Disk Sextant)S of Hollis, Oklahoma, US
9/1/201214:19 utc11 hHASP 2012 (High Altitude Student Platform)W of Phoenix, Arizona, US
9/9/201213:40 utc4 h 30 mASTRA (Analog Site Testbed for Readiness Advancement)14 miles SW of Vaughn, New Mexico. US
9/12/201216:13 utc4 h 20 mTEST FLIGHT - BALLOON MODEL SF490W of Santa Rosa, New Mexico. US
9/22/201214:41 utc15 h 30 mWASP (Wallops Arc Second Pointer)25 miles SW of Grants, New Mexico, US
10/10/201215:30 utc11 h 35 mProtoEXIST (Energetic X-ray Imaging Survey Telescope)S of Boise, Oklahoma, US
8/17/2013 ---LDSD (Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator)Launch test
8/19/201315:05 utc9 h 42 mLDB Test + MARAIA Drop TestNE of Springerville, Arizona, US
9/2/201315:00 utc12 h 30 mHASP 2013 (High Altitude Student Platform)W of Wickenburg, Arizona, US
9/3/2013 ---LDSD (Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator)Launch test
9/21/201311:50 utc~ 26 hHEROES (High Energy Replicated Optics to Explore the Sun)SW of Santa Rosa, New Mexico, US
9/29/20130:10 utc~ 12 hBRRISON (Balloon Rapid Response for ISON)21 miles E of Spur, Texas, US
9/29/201313:39 utc~ 8 hHYSICS (HyperSpectral Imager for Climate Science )SE of Shamrock, Texas, US
8/9/201413:25 utc7 h 52 mHASP 2014 (High Altitude Student Platform)NE of Grand Falls, Arizona, US
8/18/201415:34 utc9 h 20 mHYSICS (HyperSpectral Imager for Climate Science )SE of Holbrook, Arizona, US
8/24/201413:55 utc6 h 38 mLONG DURATION BALLOON SYSTEMS TESTSW of Socorro, New Mexico, US
9/13/201414:58 utc23 h 14 mJPL REMOTENear Lupton, Arizona, US
9/24/201414:16 utc7 h 40 mX-CALIBUR / InFOCuS40 miles W of Ft.Sumner, New Mexico, US
9/25/201414:27 utc21 h 10 mBOPPS (Balloon Observation Platform for Planetary Science)W of Amarillo, Texas, US
9/26/201414:47 utc18 h 51 mGRAPE (Gamma-Ray Polarimeter Experiment)W of Childress, Texas, US
10/8/201414:00 utc11 h 2 mOPIS (Observatory for Planetary Investigations from the Stratosphere)37 miles NW of Childress, Texas, US
9/4/201514:55 utc7 h 45 mTEST FLIGHT INorth of Los Alamos, New Mexico, US
9/7/201513:47 utc29 hHASP 2015 (High Altitude Student Platform)8 miles E from Estancia, New Mexico, US
9/25/201517:05 utc21 h 55 mRAD-X (Radiation Dosimetry Experiment)8 miles SE of Hagerman, New Mexico, US
10/10/201514:51 utc11 h 27 mTEST FLIGHT IINW of Glazier, Texas, US
9/1/201616:08 utc18 h 19 mHASP 2016 (High Altitude Student Platform)20 miles SW of Prescott, Arizona, US
9/17/201613:28 utc28 h 15 mX-CALIBUR / WASPW of Red Hill, New Mexico, US
9/27/201614:29 utc14 h 47 mJPL REMOTESW of Booker, Texas, US
9/28/201614:28 utc9 h 57 mLDB TESTW of Hart, Texas, US
9/4/201714:04 utc11 h 22 mHASP 2017 (High Altitude Student Platform)SW of Holbrook, Arizona, US
10/13/201716:12 utc11 h 30 mPIPER (Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer)In Union county, New Mexico, US
8/17/201814:40 utc8 h60MCF TEST FLIGHTNE of Winslow, Arizona, US
8/24/201815:06 utc6 hUSIP PROGRAM FLIGHTSW of Santa Rosa, New Mexico, US
8/25/201814:35 utc9 h 40 m60MCF TEST FLIGHTN of Winslow, Arizona, US
9/4/201814:03 utc11 h 30 mHASP 2018 (High Altitude Student Platform)NW of Bowie, Arizona, US
9/8/201823:35 utc6 h 40 mSIFT (Super Pressure Balloon Instrumentation Flight Test)W of Corona, New Mexico, US
9/22/201816:20 utc15 h 23 mFIREBALL (Faint Intergalactic-medium Redshifted Emission Balloon)North of Vaughan, New Mexico, USA
9/29/201813:00 utc2 hPING # 140 km SE of Ft. Sumner, New Mexico, US
8/22/201913:59 utc8 h 30 mBOBCAT (Balloon-Borne Cryogenic Telescope Testbed)90 km E of Holbrook, Arizona, US
9/4/201913:42 utc3 h 55 mPIGGYBACKSouth of Willard, New Mexico, US
9/5/201913:03 utc10 h 50 mHASP 2019 (High Altitude Student Platform)West of White Mesa, Utah, US
9/18/201914:55 utc9 h 40 mBITSE (Balloon-borne Investigation of Temperature and Speed of Electrons)In the Jicarilla Apache Nation Reservation NW of Ojito, New Mexico, US
9/23/201914:01 utc7 h 15 mLDB TESTN of Tecolotito, New Mexico, US
9/28/201915:07 utc20 hPICTURE-C (Planetary Imaging Concept Testbed Using a Recoverable Experiment - Coronagraph)NW of Techado, New Mexico, US
10/7/201914:30 utc13 hJPL REMOTENW of Clovis, New Mexico, US
10/14/201913:38 utc13 h 45 mPIPER (Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer)SE of Dickens, Texas, US
10/16/201913:56 utc5 h 45 mTHAI-SPICE (Testbed for High Acuity Imaging - Stable Photometry Image-motion Compensation Experiment)NE of Hollis, Oklahoma, US
10/17/201913:54 utc5 h 15 mRECK-TANGLE (The Reck-Tang Limbsounder Experiment)Near Matador, Texas, US
5/4/202117:30 utc7 h 20 mBBC (Balloon-Borne Chirpsounder)In Torrance County, New Mexico, US
6/8/202112:56 utc15 h 55 mMULLENAX TEST #1S of Seligman, Arizona, US
6/10/202112:29 utc17 h 40 mSALTER / ASHI TEST FLIGHTSW of Holbrook, Arizona, US
8/20/202114:06 utc5 h 15 mWHATSUP (Water Hunting Advanced Terahertz Spectrometer on a Ultra Small Platform)10 miles W of Belén, New Mexico
8/28/202113:38 utc10 hSLS (Submillimeter Limb Sounder)Near Jemez Pueblo, Sandoval County, New Mexico, US
8/30/202115:29 utc10 hSALTER TEST FLIGHTNear Progresso, Torrance County, New Mexico, US
9/6/202113:32 utc15 h 29 mMULLENAX TEST #2In Sierra Blanca mountains, N of Tularosa, New Mexico, US
9/14/202114:02 utc16 h 41 mHASP 2021 (High Altitude Student Platform)Near Wide Ruins, Arizona, US
9/25/202114:20 utc25 hJPL REMOTESE of Brownfield, Texas, US
8/23/202213:36 utc5 hSALTER TEST FLIGHT66 km ESE of Moriarty, New Mexico, US
8/25/202212:57 utc21 hMULLENAX TEST FLIGHT32 km NE of Seligman, Arizona, US
9/7/202214:04 utc8 h 45 mBALBOA (BALloon-Based Observations for sunlit Aurora)In el Malpais National Conservation Area, New Mexico, US
9/8/202213:25 utc21 h 7 mHASP 2022 (High Altitude Student Platform)45 km NE of St. Johns, Arizona, US
9/22/202212:40 utc7 h 30 mTINMAN (ThermalIzed Neutron MeAsuremeNt experiment)Payload fell uncontrolled from 125.000 ft. Impact 65 km al WNW of Tucumcari, New Mexico, US
9/28/202214:01 utc19 h 20 mPICTURE-C (Planetary Imaging Concept Testbed Using a Recoverable Experiment - Coronagraph)37 km SE of Ruidoso, New Mexico, US
8/19/202313:20 utc5 hSALTER TEST FLIGHT20 km NE of Socorro, New Mexico, US
8/27/202314:58 utc6 h 30 mGRAPE (Gamma-Ray Polarimeter Experiment) + ComPairSW of Albuquerque, New Mexico, US
9/7/202314:58 utc13 hHASP 2023 (High Altitude Student Platform)45 km NE of Quemado, New Mexico, US
9/25/202317:00 utc11 hFIREBALL (Faint Intergalactic-medium Redshifted Emission Balloon)North of Vaughan, New Mexico, USA
9/27/202314:23 utc15 hJPL REMOTESE of Dawn, Texas, US

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