POLITICS

High altitude balloon launch from Timmins, Ont., grounded by weather

09/10/2013 04:00 EDT | Updated 11/09/2013 05:12 EST
LONGUEUIL, Que. - 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, Ont., 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 balloons 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.

The Stratos Balloon Program is a joint effort of the CSA and the French space agency, the Centre national d'études spatiales.