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Helium Balloons fall from the Sky to Union Island Coast.


Around 7:30am Saturday 21st January 2016 two objects believed to be Helium Balloons fell off the South Western coast of Union Island. According to the Flight Radar website, the Balloons descended from an altitude of 59,000 feet back to earth.

The first Balloon was captured on camera as it was about to enter the water suspended by a red parachute.

parachute 2

First Balloon.


First Balloon afloat on the water.

About an hour later the second Balloon made its way down similar to the first however it seemed more inflated than the first.


Second Helium Balloon.

These Balloons are believed to be ones from Project Loon. Project Loon launches several balloons to provide Internet coverage to users on the ground. High speed internet is transmitted up to the nearest balloon, relayed across the balloon network, and then back down to users on the ground.

baloon 2

A Project Loon Balloon – website image

Project Loon balloons are designed and manufactured at scale to survive the conditions in the stratosphere, where winds can blow over 100 km/hr and the thin atmosphere offers little protection from UV radiation.

They are made from sheets of polyethylene, each tennis court sized balloon is built to last more than 100 days in the stratosphere.

The equipment is highly energy-efficient and is powered entirely by renewable energy – with solar panels powering daytime operations and charging a battery for use during the night.

Autolaunchers are designed to launch Loon balloons safely and reliably at scale capable of filling and launching a new balloon into the Loon network every 30 minutes.


An Auto launcher

Project Loon balloons travel approximately 20 km above the Earth’s surface in the stratosphere, well above airplanes, wildlife, and weather events. In the stratosphere winds are stratified, and each layer of wind varies in speed and direction.

To get balloons to where they need to go, Project Loon uses predictive models of the winds and decision-making algorithms to move each balloon up or down into a layer of wind blowing in the right direction. By moving with the wind, the balloons can be arranged to provide coverage where it’s needed.



More Helium Balloons

According to Project Loons website, on of their autolaunchers, “Chicken Little”, is on a working vacation in Puerto Rico. Chicken Little was packed up and shipped to this new location, where it was reassembled and used to successfully autolaunch a handful of test balloons.

The Project Loon team tracks the location of every balloon using GPS, coordinating directly with the local air traffic control to bring each one safely to ground targeting sparsely populated areas.

When a balloon is ready to be taken out of service, the lift gas keeping the balloon aloft is released and the parachute deploys automatically to bring the balloon to the ground in a controlled descent. Our recovery teams then collect the equipment for reuse and recycling.

More on Project Loon : https://plus.google.com/+ProjectLoon






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By: Rashid Azar
shared on wplocker.com