Proud Of East Texas: Columbia Balloon Facility - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/5/06-Palestine

Proud Of East Texas: Columbia Balloon Facility

The Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, located just outside of Palestine, is one of the best-kept secrets in East Texas. Sponsored by NASA, the facility was moved to Palestine in 1961, and is the launch site for world class scientific research and the center for balloon launches around the world.

The balloons, made from material as thin as a trash bag, but as big as the astrodome, are inflated with helium and launched on journeys to the edge of space. The data gathering and scientific experiments they carry out, can be accomplished at a fraction of the cost of rockets and space shuttle launches.

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