Science Daily is reporting that a new solar telescope has been launched via an enormous balloon
filled with helium. Dubbed project "Sunrise" the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), NASA, Germany's Max Planck Institute for Solar Physics, Spain's Astrophysics Institute of the Canary Islands, and the Swedish Space Corporation all partnered to launch the balloon in order to view never before see features of the Sun. "The project may usher in a new generation of balloon-borne scientific missions that cost less than sending instruments into space. Scientists also can test an instrument on a balloon before making a commitment to launch it on a rocket. The balloon, with its gondola of scientific instruments, was launched successfully on the morning of October 3 from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. It flew for about 10 hours, capturing stable images of the solar surface and additional data from the various instruments of the sophisticated payload. The gondola then separated from the balloon and descended with a parachute, landing safely in a field outside Dalhart, Texas."