NASA Releases Report About Australia Balloon Mishap | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 05.23.16

Airborne 05.24.16

Airborne 05.25.16

Airborne 05.26.16

Airborne 05.27.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 05.23.16

Airborne 05.24.16

Airborne 05.25.16

Airborne 05.26.16

Airborne 05.27.16

AEA2016 LIVE Aero-TV: 04/27-0830ET, 04/28-1400ET, 04/29-1100ET

Sun 'n Fun 2016 Innovation Preview on Vimeo!

Sun 'n Fun 2016 Innovation Preview on YouTube!

Tue, Oct 26, 2010

NASA Releases Report About Australia Balloon Mishap

Accident Damaged Gamma-Ray Telescope Intended For High-Altitude Experiments

A NASA panel that investigated the unsuccessful April 28 launch of a scientific balloon from Alice Springs, Australia, has released its report.

NASA was attempting to launch the balloon carrying a gamma-ray telescope belonging to the University of California at Berkeley. The Nuclear Compton Telescope, which was partially destroyed in the accident, was designed to look for distant galaxies from a vantage point high in Earth's upper atmosphere.

The scientific payload inadvertently separated from a mobile crane being used for the launch, and it was dragged approximately 150 yards by the airborne balloon. Spectators narrowly escaped injury when the payload hit an airport fence and a car. NASA's Mishap Investigation Board determined weather conditions were acceptable for launch, and there were no technical problems with the vehicle or the payload.

The board was led by Michael L. Weiss of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The board's report listed 25 proximate, intermediate and root causes related to insufficient risk analysis, contingency planning, personnel training, technical knowledge, government oversight and public safety accommodations.

"There is no question in our minds that balloon launches are fragile processes," Weiss said. "The mishap board reviewed a large volume of information about the accident and conducted numerous interviews with eyewitnesses. But in the course of our investigation, we found surprisingly few documented procedures for balloon launches. No one considered the launch phase to be a potential hazard."

The purpose of the investigation was to discover what caused the mishap and provide recommendations to help prevent similar future mishaps. The board listed 44 recommendations regarding the need for better communication; more robust range and ground safety plans and procedures; and better understanding of potentially unsafe conditions that can lead to accidents.


NASA Image From Accident report

Immediately after the accident in Australia, launch operations at all of NASA's balloon sites were suspended. NASA's Balloon Program Office will resume launches once it has implemented and verified new procedures to safeguard launch crews and the public. "We have learned a lot from this incident, and we'll have a better balloon program because of it," said Rob Strain, Goddard Space Flight Center director.

The Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine, Texas, conducts balloon launches for NASA under contract to the Balloon Program Office. The program office is based at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, which is managed by Goddard.

FMI: www.nasa.gov/goddard

Advertisement

More News

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (05.30.16)

"We take great pride in Vietjet selecting the game-changing Geared Turbofan engine to power their aircraft fleet. Customers continuously recognize that this engine represents the p>[...]

Airborne 05.27.16: More MH370 Debris, Airport 4 Sale, Hurricane Hunters

Also: PWC PW307D, Icon Scandal, Memorial Day, IASO, Nat'l Warplane Museum, Gogo Cloud, Orbital ATK, Honor Flight Austin The Australia's Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, D>[...]

National Warplane Museum Establishes Crowdfunding Effort

Campaign Is Titled 'Let's Do A Little More For Les' The National Warplane Museum has kicked off its first ever crowd funding project. While many are aware of crowdfunding and how i>[...]

Delta Flight Intercepted By Greek F-16s

Airliner 'Briefly' Out Of Contact With Air Traffic Controllers On the same day that EgyptAir Flight MS804 disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean Sea, another airliner was in>[...]

Toledo Police Helicopter May Be Grounded

Department Seeks Grants To Help Keep Aircraft Flying The police department in Toledo, OH may be forced to ground its helicopter unless it is able to identify a grant for the $300,0>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC