Helium from BOC Australia was used to inflate a giant balloon which monitored a star 1,000 light years away


An enormous research balloon, filled with 1,830 cubic metres of helium from BOC Australia, was launched to research a star – 1,000 light years away from Earth.

The aircraft carrying precious, and ultra sensitive, equipment measuring gamma rays from the star called Vela Pulsar was launched from the Australia Balloon Launching Station at Alice Springs Airport.

Expanding to nearly the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground and weighing more than 1,500 kilograms, the balloon with its scientific equipment spent the day in the Earth’s stratosphere measuring high-energy gamma rays from the Vela Pulsar before safely landing in central Queensland near Longreach.

Melissa Webber, BOC Scientific Specialist says extensive planning and testing was undertaken by BOC to ensure the helium requirements were met for this highly complex and innovative research project.

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