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© Sébastien CHASTANET / CNES / OMP / IRAP / UT3 / CNRS Images
Site de la campagne Austral à Alice Springs
Max. size57.1 x 38.11 cm / 300 dpi
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Launch site for the "Austral" campaign in Alice Springs, Australia. The preparation hall for the PILOT, CLIMAT and CARMEN/CASOLBA missions can be seen on the right. The hangar to its left is devoted entirely to preparing the balloons that will carry the mission payloads to altitudes of several tens of kilometres. The Alice Springs facility's location in the southern hemisphere enables astrophysicists and astronomers to observe heavenly bodies such as the Magellanic Clouds and internal regions of the Milky Way, which are only visible from this hemisphere. 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.