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Balloon 101 - A Brief Introduction to the Science & History of Balloons

Heart Shaped Balloons Around Airliner
Heart Shaped Balloons Around Airliner

Balloons are Fun!

It seems we now know more about very large balloons, weather and spy balloons to be exact than we ever wanted to know.

Balloons are fun right! We like balloons, small balloons we can hold and pop, larger balloons for balloon rides and then there are the huge balloons.

Balloons were first made of animal bladders, then the concept continued to grow until..

Balloon History

"Many years have passed since the Montgolfier brothers sent their three animal passengers to test if humans could survive the flight in a balloon powered by hot air. And we still fly in balloons because there is nothing like it..

History and Facts about Various Kinds of Balloons

Hot air balloons: one of the oldest type of balloons and the earliest flying machines that carried humans into the air safely. They appeared for the first time in the 18th century and are still popular. They are launched into the air by the heated air which is lighter than cool air, and it lifts the balloon because of that. Their ancestors are flying lanterns appeared for the first time in 3rd century China.

Gas balloons: appeared at the same time as the hot air balloons. It is filled with a gas that is lighter than air, usually hydrogen or helium. Hydrogen is cheaper and easier to obtain but dangerous because it can explode when mixed with oxygen from the air. Helium is more expensive but safer because it is inert.

Toy balloons: small balloons made of rubber, latex or aluminized plastic and mostly used for child play, party decoration, and advertising. Before this material and Michael Faraday, who made the first rubber balloon, balloons were made from pig bladders.

Weather balloons: large balloons made of highly flexible latex to carry instruments which measure atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity and other characteristics of weather. One of the first to use weather balloons was Léon Teisserenc de Bort, the French meteorologist in 1896.. from the website: "

Which leads us to todays sudden fascination with balloons!

Balloon Science - Prof Simon

Video from Professor Simon Holland

"Chinese Balloon Science and other weird stories" from video introduction

Chinese Spy Balloon Has Unexpected Maneuverability

"..This maneuverability is beyond the capabilities of most high-altitude balloons, says John Villasenor, director of the Institute for Technology, Law and Policy and a professor of electrical engineering, law, public policy and management at the University of California, Los Angeles. “The only balloons I’ve ever heard of are the ones that can go up and down or the ones that don’t do anything—they just go completely at the mercy of the winds,” he says. “But the phrasing from these spokespeople seems to suggest some greater degree of control than that. I don’t know what that means, but I think it’s notable.... It adds some more complexity to the whole thing.” In addition to its maneuverability, the surveillance balloon differs from a typical weather balloon in other ways, according to the Weather Channel. First, it has been airborne for days, but weather balloons typically remain up for only a couple of hours. The Chinese balloon is also roughly the size of three buses, whereas weather balloons typically expand to only about 20 feet across.

Scientific American spoke with Villasenor about why the aircraft’s maneuverability is so unusual and how such surveillance balloons compare with satellites..." from the article: Chinese Spy Balloon Has Unexpected Maneuverability

Are they Spy Balloons or Aliens? What We Know About the Flying Objects Spotted in US, Canada and even China

"Are they spy balloons or aliens? What we know about the flying objects spotted in US, Canada and even China

The US has shot down four flying objects in the past eight days — first a ‘spy balloon’ in South Carolina, followed up by instances in north Alaska, Canada and the third over Lake Huron. Has China increased its spying or is there something more to it?

Are they spy balloons or aliens? What we know about the flying objects spotted in US, Canada and even China.

Is it a bird, is it a plane or is it a spy balloon? This seems to be the common question in recent days, as a number of flying objects have been spotted and shot down — across North America and even as far as China.

On Monday, the news of a fourth flying object being taken down over Lake Huron, near the Canadian border emerged, raising concerns about North American security and further strained relations with China.

Pentagon officials state that this is the fourth such downing in eight days, which is unprecedented for peacetime.

The news of the object flying over Lake Huron came even as China stated that they had detected one over the waters near a northern Chinese port city close to the Bohai Sea, with local authorities saying there were ready to shoot it down.

We explain what’s know so far about all these unidentified objects, how their appearance has put North American security officials on edge, and what effect will these episodes have on US-China ties.." from the article: Are they spy balloons or aliens? What we know about the flying objects spotted in US, Canada and even China

UAP invasion ? - Prof Simon

Video from Professor Simon Holland

"Have you seen a UAP Spy craft flying East to West? With Norad tweeking its radar, is the USA and Canada going to find more UAP in its airspace?" from video introduction

Exploring the Atmosphere with Weather Balloons

Every 12 hours, hundreds of people in places around the world release huge, white balloons into the sky. The balloons float upward, each tethered to a box of instruments that collects data about the atmosphere.

These are weather balloons. The boxes of instruments are called sondes. The data that sondes collect is used in models to improve weather forecasts.

In addition to the hundreds of balloons launched every 12 hours, weather balloons are used in many research projects to examine aspects of the atmosphere that are difficult to access. For example, using weather balloons a French meteorologist named Léon Teisserenc de Bort was able to find the top of the troposphere and the stratosphere beyond. Starting in 1896, he lauched hundreds of balloons that provided the data for his discovery.." from the article: Exploring the Atmosphere with Weather Balloons

The Chinese Balloon Looks Nothing Like a Weather Balloon, Experts Say

"As a large Chinese balloon traversing the United States reached North Carolina on Saturday, Chinese officials were sticking by their claims that the vessel wasn’t being used for spying, but “for scientific research such as meteorology.”

But experts say that the balloon, which is being closely monitored by US officials, looks nothing like a typical weather balloon.." from the article: The Chinese Balloon Looks Nothing Like a Weather Balloon, Experts Say

This article although 3 years old indicates that all nations use Spy Balloons!

Pentagon Testing Mass Surveillance Balloons Across the US

"The US military is conducting wide-area surveillance tests across six midwest states using experimental high-altitude balloons, documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reveal.

Up to 25 unmanned solar-powered balloons are being launched from rural South Dakota and drifting 250 miles through an area spanning portions of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri, before concluding in central Illinois.

Travelling in the stratosphere at altitudes of up to 65,000ft, the balloons are intended to “provide a persistent surveillance system to locate and deter narcotic trafficking and homeland security threats”, according to a filing made on behalf of the Sierra Nevada Corporation, an aerospace and defense company.

The balloons are carrying hi-tech radars designed to simultaneously track many individual vehicles day or night, through any kind of weather. The tests, which have not previously been reported, received an FCC license to operate from mid-July until September, following similar flights licensed last year.." from the article: Pentagon Testing Mass Surveillance Balloons Across the US


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