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© Sébastien CHASTANET / CNES / OMP / IRAP / UT3 / CNRS Photothèque
Assemblage du ballon auxiliaire en préparation des chaînes de vol
Max. size62.31 x 41.59 cm / 300 dpi
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Assembling the auxiliary balloon in preparation for flight at the balloon launch base in Alice Springs, in Australia. The flight assembly generally consists of the gondola and its payload of scientific instruments, but also a radar transponder, parachutes to enable a controlled landing during the balloon's post-mission descent, and a small auxiliary balloon from which the gondola is suspended pending lift-off. The gondolas for the PILOT, CLIMAT and CARMEN/CASOLBA mission will be suspended from helium-filled balloons designed to carry them to altitudes expressed in tens of kilometres. Measurements are more economical and simpler to perform using balloons than using satellites. Balloons are able to gather data that would be impossible to collect using ground-based telescopes, as the Earth's atmosphere partially blocks cosmic radiation.