Linde to provide helium for NASA balloon campaign


Linde Gases, a division of The Linde Group, has announced its agreement to provide helium gas to NASA for a series of four unmanned, high altitude balloon launches.

Operated by NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) and the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), the purpose of the launches is to collect and study scientific data about the solar magnetic field and associated cosmic ray activity, which can expose astronauts and even airline flight crew to the threat of radiation.

The giant balloons, filled with between 4,000 and 8,000 cubic metres of helium gas, rise to heights of up to 43 kilometres above the earth’s surface and can reach flying speeds of more than 40 knots.

When fully inflated, the largest balloons can be up to 1.2 million cubic metres in size. Their payloads, including vast telescopes, can weigh up to 6 tons.

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