Canada-France space agencies test stratosphere balloon in Ontario

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the French space agency, the Centre national d’études spatiales (CNES), completed their maiden stratospheric research balloon flight from Timmins, Ontario today. It was the first flight to take place under a France-Canada agreement signed in September 2012. A remotely controlled atmospheric balloon, capable of carrying up to 1.75 tons of equipment into the stratosphere, completed a ten-hour flight at 6:40 this morning. The balloons, which require no engine or fuel to reach altitudes of up to 42 kilometres, are fully recoverable after flight.

Inflation of the first stratospheric balloon launched from Timmins, Ontario. The launch was done under an agreement between the Canadian Space Agency and the Centre national d’etudes spatiales of France.

This flight was intended to test the CNES’ most recent stratospheric balloon technology, according to a release.

“This collaborative effort between France and Canada will provide a new, inexpensive platform for scientists to test technologies in a near-space environment,” said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry, and responsible for the CSA. “The stratospheric balloon project allows for faster launch capability and is an environmentally responsible tool for scientific research and technology development.”

The balloons provide a platform for collecting data on the Earth’s environment and atmosphere, as well as for looking outward into space for astronomy research.

The president of the CSA, Walter Natynczyk, said that the Franco-Canadian collaboration would provide frequent opportunities for Canada’s engineering and scientific communities. The agency looks forward to receiving payload proposals from research scientists and engineers for future stratospheric missions, which will become “frequent” in 2014.

In the current round of test flights, a Montreal firm, Xiphos, will be testing miniaturized data-processing technology. The company hopes to certify this technology for space and sub-orbital missions.

A second test flight is scheduled in coming days. For this launch, the CNES will use its largest stratospheric balloon, which is nearly 324 metres in length, equal to the height of the Eiffel Tower.

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • Petronas deal could get LNG moving in Canada
  • More positive outlook for economy as March sales rebound
  • Invest $50 billion in infrastructure over five years or fall further behind: Report
  • Japanese claim breakthrough in hydrogen storage technology
  • TransCanada confident Energy East pipeline will be built
  • Ontario to improve business "climate" for automotive industry; special focus on autonomous vehicle development
  • Canada's manufacturing sales rose in 2016, led by cars, food
  • Airbus Tests Self-Flying Taxi
  • Hyundai Plans to Sell Millions of BEVs
  • Cars and oil pulled Canada's manufacturing down in September
  • Energy storage system uses rail cars, gravity to mimic hydro
  • De Beers new diamond mine in far north among world's largest
  • Calgary company a leader in waterless fracking
  • Bombardier CS100 certified by Transport Canada
  • Japan setting records for new solar power installations
  • Manufacturing sector growth slower in May
  • Trucking industry moving toward use of EOBRs
  • Volvo to Expand Production of XC40 SUV in Europe and China
  • Gas producers argue for use of LNG to power northern communities
  • Ontario missing out on $billions from federal government: study
Scroll to Top