“Facing scrutiny like never before, New England’s amateur balloonists are feeling the pressure”

From The Boston Globe, February 28, 2023:

“In July, Seth Kendall and his 12-year-old son, Max, plan to fill a giant latex balloon with gas and then launch it into the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

“Once it leaves the ground it will reach a height of around 100,000 feet, where it will expand to more than 40 feet wide. Dangling underneath will be a payload of science experiments designed by students, a device that bounces radio signals for hundreds of miles, and a GoPro camera to capture footage of the curvature of the Earth.

“From there, it will be smooth sailing — at least, that’s their hope.

“A string of recent high-profile, balloon-related incidents, including the military shooting down a Chinese surveillance balloon and several other yet-to-be-identified flying objects, have fueled anxiety among amateur balloonists across the country. Here in New England, where hobbyists and scientists routinely launch balloons for scientific research or kicks — or often both — fears about the fate of their projects are reaching new heights.”

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