The Ballooning team provides NASA’s Balloon Program complete research, engineering, and operational support, which includes management and operation of the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) in Palestine, TX, and Fort Sumner, NM. Balloon system research and development (R&D) also is supported at the Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) in Virginia and PSL’s headquarters in Las Cruces.
The ballooning team is responsible for complete planning and operational support for launching approximately 25 high-altitude scientific balloons annually, with payloads weighing from several tens of pounds to 8,000 pounds each. Primary launch sites include Palestine and Fort Sumner with additional sites located throughout the world.
World leadership status has been attained in the area of high-altitude scientific ballooning, with more than 2,000 balloons launched (1,700 at CSBF) and its fast response to multi-year, multi-mission requirements.