Space balloon crashes; public "wipe out" - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Space balloon crashes; public "wipe out"

SYDNEY (AP) - A giant space balloon that's designed to go up, up and away, instead wound up being dragged out-of-control across the Australian desert.

The balloon is part of a research project designed to study gamma rays 25 miles above Earth, designed by faculty and students at the University of California-Berkley and universities from Taiwan.

Ahead of today's scheduled launch, the massive craft ripped from its mooring as it was being filled with air, and was dragged across the Australian Outback. Before coming to a halt, it crashed into a parked four-wheel-drive vehicle and left debris strewn across the sand.

No one was injured, but video of the incident is receiving play around the world. The exact cause of the crash hasn't been determined, although wind gusts are suspected.

 

 

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

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