NASA to launch balloon into the stratosphere to study the cosmos

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NASA has begun work on an ambitious new project that will carry a cutting-edge telescope high into the stratosphere on a balloon, the space agency said in a press release on July 23.

A gondola beneath the balloon will carry an instrument to measure the motion and speed of gas around newly formed stars, and a lightweight telescope optimized to capture far-infrared light.

The mission is called ASTHROS, which is short for Astrophysics Stratospheric Telescope for High Spectral Resolution Observations at Submillimeter-wavelengths.

It is tentatively planned to launch in December 2023 from Antarctica. When fully inflated with helium, the balloon will be about 150 meters wide, roughly the size of a football stadium.

In order to observe far-infrared light, which is blocked by Earth's atmosphere, ASTHROS will will need to reach an altitude of about 40 kilometers — roughly four times higher than commercial airliners fly.

Managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the mission will observe four main targets: two star-forming regions in the Milky Way; the galaxy Messier 83; and TW Hydrae, a young star surrounded by a wide disk of dust and gas where planets may be forming.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. NASA's ASTHROS telescope floating in the stratosphere
2. ASTHROS will be launched in December of 2023 from Antarctica
3. ASTHROS will observe far-infrared light that is blocked by Earth's atmosphere
4. The mission will observe four main targets: two star-forming regions in the Milky Way; the galaxy Messier 83; and the young star TW Hydrae

VOICEOVER (in English):
"NASA has begun work on an ambitious new project that will carry a cutting-edge telescope high into the stratosphere on a balloon, the space agency said in a press release on July 23."

"A gondola beneath the balloon will carry an instrument to measure the motion and speed of gas around newly formed stars, and a lightweight telescope optimized to capture far-infrared light."

"The mission is called ASTHROS, which is short for Astrophysics Stratospheric Telescope for High Spectral Resolution Observations at Submillimeter-wavelengths."

"It is tentatively planned to launch in December 2023 from Antarctica. When fully inflated with helium, the balloon will be about 150 meters wide, roughly the size of a football stadium."

"In order to observe far-infrared light, which is blocked by Earth's atmosphere, ASTHROS will will need to reach an altitude of about 40 kilometers — roughly four times higher than commercial airliners fly."

"Managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the mission will observe four main targets: two star-forming regions in the Milky Way; the galaxy Messier 83; and TW Hydrae, a young star surrounded by a wide disk of dust and gas where planets may be forming."

SOURCE: NASA
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-mission-will-study-the-cosmos-with-a-stratospheric-balloon/