Dominica
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Ex-Defense secretary on the message behind downing of ‘high-altitude object’

Amazing…
… Amazon Balloon?

This one, from the little bit of description (size of a car) published so far, could very well have been a weather balloon.

I imagine these things are released all over the world, all the time.

If they got caught up in a jet stream, could they just keep going and going around the world, until they degrade or whatever?

National weather service says most weather balloons burst when they get high enough and a flight can last about 2 hours up to an altitude of about 100,000 feet.

So… Answering my own question… probably not a weather balloon unless it was just launched from a relatively close location or somehow modified to rise slowly.

One that was just the size of an automobile probably couldn’t carry a very large payload.

BTW:

Weather balloons can be ordered on Amazon, the largest being just over 300” in diameter.

Given the news frenzy the Chinese balloon caused the other day, maybe someone is just having fun with balloons….(?)

Interesting…..

In doing the Wikipedia thing, came across an article describing Geostationary Balloon Satellites and a picture of one that looks like the Chinese balloon that got shot down a few days ago.

The picture is of a proposed design that is intended to hover between 60,000 and 100,000 feet in relatively still air and have solar powered propulsion.

This design would be used to provide broad band internet over a wide area without using a satellite.

What is striking is the picture….

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-altitude_balloon#Geostationary_balloon_satellite

There is a company in Arizona that is working on a couple of designs for a Geostationary Balloon Satellite, including one they call a ‘Stratollite’ whose description matches the picture.

China apparently decided to pursue the idea of Geostationary Balloon Design some years ago.

So…

If a person decided to purchase a weather balloon from Amazon, outfitted it with … (whatever) … and launched it, would the military be obligated to shoot it down?

Apparently it is legal to purchase and own a weather balloon.

Is it against the law to fill it with helium and launch it?

Stay Well…