NASA weather balloon-telescope epic fail 19 replies

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Biggest F-ing A-hole 2010

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24th April 2003

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#1 8 years ago

Huge NASA Science Balloon Crashes in Australian Outback - Yahoo! News

A huge NASA balloon loaded with a telescope painstakingly built to scan the sky at wavelengths invisible to the human eye crashed in the Australian outback Thursday, destroying the $2 million astronomy experiment and just missing nearby onlookers, according to Australian media reports.

In dramatic video released by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the giant 400-foot (121-meter) balloon is seen just beginning to lift its payload, then the telescope gondola appears to unexpectedly come loose from its carriage. The telescope crashes through a fence and overturns a nearby parked sport utility vehicle before finally stopping.

The balloon was carrying the Nuclear Compton Telescope (NCT), a gamma-ray telescope built by astronomer Steven Boggs and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, California to study astrophysical sources in space. The telescope was dragged about 450 feet (137 meters) before finally coming to a stop, NASA officials said.

So these intelligent scientists failed to see if the helium would actually lift the payload BEFORE the launch? :cort:


Overuses :cort:

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23rd March 2008

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#2 8 years ago

Fucking fail! :facepalm: These NASA scientists really aren't what they're made out to be, are they? :lulz:


I got them crazies.

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31st December 2008

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#3 8 years ago

This ought to go on fail blog.

But OH DAMN! Someone messed up :P



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8th November 2005

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#4 8 years ago

Everyone fucks up sometime... Some fuckups just cost a couple million more than others, though... <.

Disclaimer: Personal opinions still not endorsed by Ryojin.

G.R.A.E.M.E. VIP Member

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14th August 2008

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#5 8 years ago

This actually made me chuckle. Just look at that path of destruction. :vikki:

Looks like their years of work on that lies in vain now. But then again, people make mistakes, even scientists. There's no point in being a scientist if you're doing everything right.

Formerly known as Graeme and Arld.

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17th November 2003

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#6 8 years ago

Sweet, Australia made it in the news ! It's a shame the equipment broke, always like to see the study of space/science/astrophysics progress.

Admiral Donutz VIP Member

Wanna go Double Dutch?

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9th December 2003

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#7 8 years ago

It's a shame indeed, lost quite a bit of investement and time/effort there... but part of me finds it rather amusing too... :donitz: It will be interesting to hear how this could have failed so badly.

Serio VIP Member

The Dane

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11th November 2006

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#8 8 years ago

It's a fail. It's a costly fail, but it's nowhere as costly as the Hubble fail. They know the risks, and it would have been much more expensive had someone been wounded or killed.

Junk angel

Huh, sound?

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29th January 2007

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#9 8 years ago

Still not the fail like the Mars Metric|Imperial mix up.

Nittany Tiger Forum Mod


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15th September 2004

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#10 8 years ago

Actually, I believe that telescopes are lifted on balloons all of the time (maybe less than put into orbit by rockets).

This is just one of the oops moments.

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