Australian Balloon Circumnavigates the Globe

Launched in Victoria Australia on Easter Monday (6 April 2015), the foil party-type balloon PS-41 has achieved the longest range in project Picospace and circled the globe.

The latest solar powered helium filled balloon PS-41 launched by Andy Nguyen VK3YT on 6 April 2015, has an HF payload, transmitting 25mW on the 30m and 20m bands, sending WSPR spots and JT9 telemetry.

"PS-41 crossed 144.903 degree longitude (0120 UTC Thursday April 16) which it started from more than 10 days ago, marking a complete round trip around the globe. said Andy Nguyen VK3YT

"Thanks to everyone for assistance with tracking and providing encouragement for the project, the trip would not have been possible without you."

Earlier its sister balloon PS-30 went down on 16 January 2015 in suspected poor weather off the east coast of Africa near Madagascar.

The high-altitude balloon PS-41 took a path over Tasmania, then south of New Zealand, the southern tip of South America, directly over the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, well south of Africa, and back across to Australia.

While south of Tasmania, it abruptly changed course like a petulant child to be on a southerly track, but it has encircled the globe.

Another balloon PS-42 made its way to the Southern Pacific between New Zealand and South America.

Andy Nguyen VK3YT said: "PS-41 and PS-42 are still in the air, and will continue to be tracked in the coming days."

These have been extensively via JT9 by a network in VK, ZL, South America and South Africa, and Ireland. WSPR spots have as received all over the world.

How much longer the pico balloons can stay afloat in for anyone to guess - but we congratulate Andy VK3YT, his team and the trackers as near-space exploration continues.