Alice Springs trying innovative ideas for studying the Milky Way


Alice Springs balloon Launching Station is one of the most sought-after facilities which is directly managed by CSIRO. It is a facility which is owned by NASA. The main project of this center involves sending helium balloons into the space to find out what actually is going on in the middle of our galaxy. These million dollar balloons are sent up to an altitude of 40 kilometers and above the earth’s surface. In other words, these balloons are launched in such a way that they settle at a position which is almost 99 percent above the earth’s atmosphere. In fact, this mission is carried out in a joint venture with the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA)

Project In details

It involves setting up of a huge balloon filled up with helium. According to the scientists, the atmospheric conditions need to be absolutely perfect in order to release them into the outer space. This is very much crucial because these balloons are meant to capture vital information with respect to the gamma rays that are coming out of the galaxy. These balloons are fitted with the high range of sensitive telescopes which are meant for studying the nature of the galaxy. It also contains different survey instruments which are meant to study the atmosphere.

The proper understanding of the black hole

The project site which is decided for this mission is Central Australia. One of the main reasons for choosing this site for executing this mission is because of the unique proximity that Central Australia has with the Milky Way. It is this Milky Way that the scientists are very keen to know in depth. The scientists are very curious to identify what beholds this Milky Way, The different compositions with which they are made of and many other queries which they want to satisfy.

Scientists do believe that once they can get through the secrets of the Milky Way, then they can also unfold the mystery behind the black hole. Apart from scientists from NASA, a team of 43 astrophysicists as well as different engineers have taken part to make this mission absolutely successful.

Precautions to be taken

However, scientists are very careful this time around in order to avoid any mishap that took place in the year of 2010. In this similar mission, one of the balloons changed direction and hit a parked-car terrifying the local people. Thus scientists are waiting for the right favorable conditions to occur before they can release the balloons into space.