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    Sea ice in the Ross Sea, Antarctica

    Orbital ATK Holds 5 Successful Scientific Balloon Launches in Antarctica

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    US aerospace manufacturer Orbital ATK launched a record number of successful scientific balloon flights on Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf, the company’s Space Systems Group Division Manager John Pullen said in a release.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Pullen descirbed five successful balloon launches as "an incredible accomplishment and demonstrates a steadfast commitment to providing unmatched reliability and performance on each mission for our customer."

    The launches, which took place on from November 28 through December 12, were a part of NASA Antarctica Long Duration Balloon Flight Campaign. The balloons remained airborne for six days through December 18, according to the release.

    "The [balloons’] payloads and instruments will provide critical scientific data in the study of cosmic ray particles and the life cycle of the interstellar medium, which is the matter that fills the space between stars in the galaxy," the release stated.

    In 2016, Orbital ATK, in coordination with NASA team, has held 12 successful balloon launches.

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    balloon, Orbital ATK, Antarctica
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