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The competition kicks off Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, when DARPA will display 10 8-foot, red weather balloons at undisclosed, publicly accessible sites around the continental United States. The balloons will remain at their locations throughout the day, until sunset.
“Nobody knows where the balloons are,” Whitaker said. “But we will give people a little more than a week to contact their friends and talk to other people and scheme and plan and wheedle and deedle and figure out how they can get the information for the balloons they did not see themselves, and be the first to send the answers in to DARPA.”