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High-altitude work flourishes at NASA


发布日期: 2010-06-27
Rocket launch | 火箭发射
火箭发射 美国宇航局的高原试验设施

A rocket launches from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. The facility, which NASA first began using in 1945 and took over in 1950 is the space agency's site for doing sub-orbital and satellite launches. On average, the site hosts a launch once a month, though sometimes teams from Wallops Flight Facility take their equipment and expertise on the road to do launches in other parts of the world in order to study specific scientific applications.

CNET reporter Daniel Terdiman visited the facility as part of Road Trip 2010. You can follow the entire project here.
Launching into aurora | 发射到极光
发射到极光 美国宇航局的高原试验设施
Though most of its rocket launches are done on Wallops Island, Va., NASA's Wallops Flight Facility also takes its show on the road. In many years, that includes trips to Alaska to fire rockets into the aurora borealis in an attempt to study the phenomenon's scientific principles.
Model balloons | 气球模型
气球模型 美国宇航局的高原试验设施

While a major part of the mandate at Wallops Flight Facility is building, launching, and studying rockets designed for sub-orbital flight or putting satellites in orbit, the NASA site is also where the space agency does most of its research into designing and crafting high-altitude balloons. Those balloons are used for hoisting scientific payloads high into the sky.

These are scale models of some of the balloons that are designed at Wallops Flight Facility.
Balloon fabric | 气球布
气球布 美国宇航局的高原试验设施
The material for the high-altitude balloons that are designed at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility is the thickness of a sandwich bag but is very strong.
High-altitude balloon | 高空气球
高空气球 美国宇航局的高原试验设施
A NASA image of one of the balloons rising into the sky. Some of the balloons, when fully inflated, have a capacity of 40 million cubic feet, enough to hold an entire pro football stadium.