NASA has re-established the space agency’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Texas as a site for heavy-lift balloon launch missions.
The agency said Wednesday it is scheduled to launch the Balloon-borne Imaging Telescope payload Thursday night to conduct galactic observations as part of a technology demonstration initiative.
NASA has not had a major balloon campaign at the CSBF site since 2007.
“Re-establishing CSBF as a launch site fills an operational gap, significantly enhancing our ability to deliver short-duration nighttime flight observation,” said Debbie Fairbrother, NASA’s balloon program office chief.
SuperBIT weighs 1,540 pounds and is built to fly on a 29.47-million-cubic-foot scientific balloon.
NASA noted it aims to evaluate and validate the technology during the flight test in preparation for the agency’s balloon-borne research.