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High altitude balloon launch grounded by weather

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The Canadian Press

Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 12:03 PM -

The first stratospheric balloon launch in Canada under a joint Canadian-French program was scrubbed Monday night.

The launch was scheduled for midnight from Timmins, Ontario, but the Canadian Space Agency kept the balloon on the ground due to unfavourable weather. A new launch date has not been announced.

Once launched, the balloon will ascend to between 25 and 32 kilometres, fly for four to 10 hours and land in a 500 kilometre radius area from the launch site.

If the wind blows east, it should land close to Rouyn-Noranda, Amos or Val d'Or in Quebec, or near Wawa, Kapuskasing, Chapleau or Sudbury if the winds blows east.

The balloon is designed to give Canadian scientists a new platform to advance space science for up to 40 times less than the cost of a satellite or a launcher.

Stratospheric balloons can operate up to 45 kilometres in altitude, which is too low for satellites, too high for aircraft and cleared too quickly by rockets.

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