NASA’s balloon achieves longest flight record

After more than 55 days airborne over Antarctica, the scientific balloon Super-TIGER, NASA, holds the record for the longest flight of its kind, bringing with it a fund of information.

The balloon spent 55 days, one hour and 34 minutes in the air, at an altitude of 38,710 metres, beating the previous record set in 2009 by just one day.

The information collected will take two years to be fully analysed, according to NASA.

The balloon was used to collect data on high-energy cosmic rays that reach the Earth from any point in the galaxy.

The process included the use of a new device to measure rare elements between the inflow rays which are heavier than iron.

Scientists are now trying to better understand their origin and how they became so powerful.

“It was a successful experience because of its long duration which allowed us to detect a large number of cosmic rays,” said investigator Bob Binns, cited by AFP, news agency.