Scientific research balloon spotted in Valley sky Monday

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The object spotted in the sky over the Valley Monday evening was a weather balloon, according to mulitple sources. By Mike Gertzman The object spotted in the sky over the Valley Monday evening was a weather balloon, according to mulitple sources. By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- The object spotted in the sky over the Valley Monday evening was a scientific research balloon, according to multiple sources.

Dozens of calls came into 3TV Monday about the strange and shiny white object. It could be seen all around the valley.

It was a special research balloon, launched today out of New Mexico.

It's called a High Altitude Student Platform (HASP), and is designed to carry up to twelve student payloads to an altitude of about 36 kilometers with flight durations of 15 to 20 hours using a small volume, zero pressure balloon. 

It is anticipated that the payloads carried by HASP will be designed and built by students and will be used to flight-test compact satellites or prototypes and to fly other small experiments. 

More flights are planned in coming weeks.

Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility

LSU Space Sciences Group