AMSAT Balloon Image #5

This photo is from North Texas Balloon Project NTBP#6 showing the balloon burst. This is a digitized image (thus the poor resolution) of the video transmitted on Amateur Television (ATV) downlink with 10 watts PEP on 439.25 MHz. The latex balloon envelope of this Totex TA-1200 disintegrated into hundreds of small pieces. The helium gas cloud can still be seen in its contained shape. The white coloration of the helium gas cloud was first theorized to be ice particles, but has later been presumed to be the talc powder that coats the surface of the balloon to keep it from sticking together.

To give you an idea of the balloon envelope volumetric change that occurs during a flight (due to pressure change), the balloon is about 7 feet in diameter at the ground and about 27 feet in diameter at burst!

Updated 3 February 1997.

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