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© Sébastien CHASTANET / CNES / OMP / IRAP / UT3 / CNRS Images



Lâcher de la nacelle PILOT

The PILOT gondola ascends into the sky above the Alice Springs balloon launch base in Australia. The flight, which lasted 33 hours and 40 minutes, took place on 16-17 April 2017. The gondola reached a maximum altitude of 40 km. The purpose of the PILOT mission is to measure submillimetric polarised emissions from interstellar dust, in order to gain insights into the origins of the universe. More specifically, the project aims to map the magnetic fields in the interstellar clouds of the Milky Way, and study their role in star formation Measurements are more economical and simpler to perform using balloons than using satellites. PILOT was able to gather data that would be impossible to collect using ground-based telescopes, as the Earth's atmosphere partially blocks cosmic radiation.

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