Once launched, each balloon travels in a wide circle around the South Pole for up to three weeks, so that a handful of balloons can be up at any one time.
Read: NASA-funded Science Balloons Launch in Antarctica
Circling the pole, the balloons fly through the foot point of where Earth’s magnetic fields descend down to the ground. Instruments on the balloons observe electrons traveling down from space along these fields.
A BARREL balloon is inflated on Jan. 6, 2014 in front of Halley Research Station in Antarctica. The scientific payload is in the foreground and the parachute and balloon can be seen in the back.
A movie made by the NASA-Funded Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses, or BARREL, team on their work launching 20 balloons in Antarctica during the Dec. 2013/Jan. 2014 campaign.
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