NASA’s sixth launch attempt cancelled

UPDATE:  Friday, April 21, 7.59am -  NASA Balloon Launch Attempt Postponed Due to High Surface Winds


NASA postponed the sixth launch attempt of its super pressure balloon (SPB) from Wanaka, New Zealand, at 6:45 a.m. Friday, April 21 (New Zealand time) due to high surface winds not conducive for launch.


"The wind speed was below our limit for a time, but unfortunately picked back up at a speed that would not support a launch today," said Gabe Garde, campaign mission manager.

"We were close once again in our processing, but the winds didn’t set up in the end."


NASA will continue to assess the weather daily to determine if conditions will support a launch attempt; NASA will issue its next launch update when weather conditions are supportive of a launch attempt.

Update - Friday, April 21, 6.35am:  A one hour delay.  More to come

  •   •  A live feed of the launch is available online here

Update - Friday, April 21, 5.55am:  The helium trailers have just arrived at the launch pad 

Update - Friday, April 21, 5.30am:  NASA's payload and balloon are out at the launch pad. 

NASA has begun flight preparations and will continue to evaluate real-time and forecast weather conditions throughout the morning

If weather is conducive for launch, lift-off is scheduled between 8 and 11:30 a.m.

This is the sixth scheduled launch attempt for NASA's 2017 Wanaka Balloon Campaign.

  •   •  A live feed of the launch is available online here

Launch Viewing Information

Wanaka Airport officials advise that local residents and visitors will have the best vantage points for the launch from:

  •   •  The Hawea Flat side of the Clutha River

  •   •  Atop Mount Iron

  •   •  On the hill on the Hawea side of the Red Bridge by Kane Rd.

Road Closure Information

SH6 will be closed for up to an hour during the launch.  It will be closed from approximately 100m from the airport gate all the way to Luggate.  

The closure will start once the balloon inflation commences.   Detour via Haweas Flat.

This will be somewhere between 8am and 11.30am on launch day.

Mt Barker Rd & Stevenson Rd will not be closed for the launch this year.


RELATED:  NASA Live Updates | Wanaka Sun (April 2017)

NASA balloon taking flight | Wanaka Sun (March 24, 2016)

Why Wanaka works well for NASA balloons (March 27, 2016)

Flight Complete: NASA balloon sets record | Wanaka Sun (July 3, 2016)

NASA ready for Wanaka take off (March 30, 2017)

The launch can be tracked in the following ways:

• Track the progress of the flight at the following link, which includes a map showing the balloon’s real-time location, at: http://www.csbf.n (

• For mission status updates follow NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility social media accounts: and

Read the Wanaka Sun Online here


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