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Ultra-Thin-Film Balloon reached the highest altitude

Favored by fine weather conditions, an ultra-thin-film balloon (BU60) made of polyethylene film 3.4 micron thick with a volume of 60,000m3 was launched from Sanriku Balloon Center at 6:35 on May 23, 2002. The balloon kept ascending slowly at a speed of 265m per minute and successfully reached the altitude of 53.0km, which is 1.2km higher than the world record altitude of 51.8km, establishing a new world record for the first time in 30 years. When the balloon reached the altitude of 53.0km, all members of the balloon test team as well as Sanriku Balloon Center Director Haruto Hirosawa gathered in a receiving room and applauded this great success. We are convinced that this success was brought about by concerting all development efforts including the development of ultra-thin-film that started in 1997, development of adhesive agent for balloons, balloon manufacturing under strict quality control, development of air-packed ultra-thin-film balloon launch system, the semi-dynamic balloon launch method that Japan has developed, etc. Last but not least, we express our deepest appreciation to all manufacturers, test team members and local supporters involved in this balloon project.

August 6, 2002