O.T.Atmospheric Satellite (Research Balloon)

From: Thomas Dorman (drygulch_99@yahoo.com)
Date: Thu Oct 11 2007 - 21:52:07 EDT

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    I had an interesting observation right at around
    sunset this evening around 00:40UT 10/12/2007 of a
    atmospheric satellite (research balloon).Not uncommon
    here in far west Texas but this balloon's envelope
    exploded.In my 10x50 binoculars I could see many
    fragments of the balloon's envelope and a cloud left
    over by the explosion and also observed the payload
    falling away from the balloon fragments.I check the
    NASA launch site Fort Sumner in New Mexico to see if
    they had anything flying but they had nothing up since
    10/4/2007.Also checked the New Mexico State University
    to see if they were flying but I could find an posting
    for a launch.I am guessing this may have came out of
    the White Sands Missile Range but most likely could
    not get them to tell  anyone if they had any balloon
    flying.National Security and all that.One interesting
    note is it look very much to me that the payload
    parachute did not fully deploy or at least as long as
    I observed it.Very Cool!
    Thomas Dorman
    Horizon City,Texas
    Elevation:1232 meters 
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