back to article FOUND: NASA's stray balloon located in the middle of nowhere

The NASA super-balloon that landed in Australia in late April has been found on a cattle station in western Queensland. The Super Pressure Balloon, slated for a 100-day flight but terminated early, completed a near-circumnavigation of Antarctica, departing from New Zealand, heading east, and arriving in Australia before …

  1. MrDamage
    Alien

    Aliens!

    Nope, sorry, just outback Queenslanders. Carry on.

    1. Zimmer

      Re: Aliens!

      THARGOIDS!! We have found the THARGOIDS!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Aliens!

        But why did they shoot down our balloon?

        Also can we still get the bounty on thargons?

  2. Gray Ham
    Facepalm

    "A NASA team scrambled on the news, and will collect trucks in Brisbane before driving to Adelaide to assemble the rest of their team. They will then head for Queensland to try and recover “four tonnes of material”."

    It seems an awfully long winded way to go about it ... wouldn't it be much easier to drive the trucks straight from Brisbane and let the Croweaters catch up with them somewhere en route?

    Still, as MrDamage remarked ... Queenslanders ...

    1. Wzrd1

      "It seems an awfully long winded way to go about it ..."

      Indeed! Wouldn't be simpler to train those about how to properly collect your kit, protect it and move it to a less rural region, rather than going largely insane and jetting across the globe?

      But then, this BOFH Mk II always used the suggested method to excellent success, even under military conditions.

      But, also remembers , the US government does what most governments does, treat the average citizen as a village idiot.

      Whilst being ruled by elected village idiots.

  3. Dr Scrum Master

    Bricks?

    Are those bricks underneath the solar panels?

    If so, what did it land on?

    1. Doctor_Wibble

      Re: Bricks?

      > Are those bricks underneath the solar panels?

      Yes. Not sure why though - the tyres won't fit anything else and it's not like you can put then on fleabay.

    2. Jason Bloomberg
      Joke

      Re: Bricks?

      I was thinking they'd missed a trick in not pushing half a house under the thing to create a claim for compensation before taking photos. Perhaps they didn't.

      1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: Bricks?

        I take it the ruby red slippers have since been extracted from under it...

        It's not in Kansas any more...

        Mines the one with the pockets full of straw.

    3. The elephant in the room

      Re: Bricks?

      Not bricks, I'm pretty certain it is cardboard honeycomb packing material like this:

      http://www.cartonpallet.com/paper-honeycomb-panels-uk/#.VVH1YJNPV1A

      I guess they were put there by the finders to stabilise & protect it.

  4. Winkypop Silver badge
    Pint

    XXXX marks the spot

    Perfect landing, time for a beer.

    Australia!

  5. Michael Thibault
    Black Helicopters

    Suspicious...

    absence of black stealthicopters for the pick-up! Something's up. Gotta be.

  6. RISC OS

    must have been a big ballon

    to show up on google maps like that...

  7. TeeCee Gold badge
    Coat

    expects the recovery operation to take a week, noting that the balloon and the payload are about 18 miles (29 km) from each other.

    Surely they can do better than 1/10 mph between the two sites and cut that timescale a bit?

    1. DropBear
      Trollface

      Well, yes, but that's the time it takes for the Zeppelin the NASA guys are travelling on to get to Australia all the way from America and return...

  8. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Hmmm

    I wonder if they can get there before the pikeys do.

    1. BobRocket
      Joke

      Re: Hmmm

      Aannd it's gone !!

      1. hplasm
        Happy

        Re: Hmmm

        Jawas!

        Oh- same thing...

  9. Andrew Newstead

    Balloon?

    That pic of a white and orange thing looks more like a parachute to me, the balloon was transparent.

    1. Mike Manes

      Re: Balloon?

      Yes, that's the parachute. The balloon envelope was made from translucent plastic film - a very strong variety that can withstand some significant internal gas pressure; it's called a "superpressure" balloon, and it can float at constant density altitude for a LONNNGGG time, as UK's Leo Bodnar has done.

      73 de Mike W5VSI

  10. Little Mouse

    "No Americans were hurt in the landing of this Balloon"

    NASA spokesperson Debbie Fairbrother told the ABC that the outback Australia had been an ideal location for the balloon to be grounded, on public safety grounds.

  11. Pirate Dave Silver badge
    Pirate

    How is it?

    It's OK for NASA to tie 4 tons of metal to a balloon and let it menace the ENTIRE world from 100,000 feet up, but the SPB can't launch a freaking toy rocket in the middle of the New Mexico desert? Makes no sense...

    1. imanidiot Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: How is it?

      'Murica.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: How is it?

      We have a**holes in charge of departments who think they understand things but really haven't a clue. So often, the best approach is to do nothing and maybe the problem will go away.

  12. Crazy Operations Guy

    At least they are being responsible

    Unlike most government projects, they are just renting some standard trucks to go out and pick it up. Any other government project and they would have sent half the army, a whole wing of C-130s, and a naval fleet to go pick it up....

    I just hate how the President has to take Air Force One to carry himself, plus several C-130s and C-17s to carry his motorcade and a battalion worth of Secret Service, CIA, NSA, and FBI agents just so he can go golfing... Not to mention shutting down huge swaths of metropolitan areas. He may represent the United States, but when was the last time he actually came in contact with a regular civilian? I wonder how much more advanced science would be if the president just flew on a commercial airliner like a normal person...

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: At least they are being responsible

      > I wonder how much more advanced science would be if the president just flew on a commercial airliner like a normal person...

      I wonder how much less of a bag of dicks the TSA would be...

  13. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  14. Kaltern

    Later on, NASA deny reports of a weather balloon being found, but was in fact, a UFO which had crash landed. Reports of a super secret spy drone have been largely ignored, stating 'Aliens would't need to use such technology'.

  15. knarf

    NASA Expect a fine and a big one

    Oh.... you can't land/park/crash here...tut tut tut....Here's a fine.

  16. kmac499

    Alternat Pickup ve-hickles

    Having watched "Outback Truckers" many times those guys could get a roadtrain alongside the Landing Zone even if it was on Mars.

    If Nasa's budget cuts can only stretch as far as an amateur job, as the land Down Under is full of Utes; I'm sure Greg and Bruce would sling the payload on the back of the Landcruiser in exchange for a few tinnies.

    Or following the alternative motorcade of Pope Frank, maybe Sheila could pop it on the back seat of her FIAT 500 Cabriolet...

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