posted on Sep, 20 2011 @ 05:18 AM
reply to post by brettrix
The reason balloons pop (as i'm sure you know, but others might not) is the gas inside it is expanded the higher it goes into the atmosphere, the
more rarefied or dense the air and pressure is, and basically the gas expands beyond the stretch limit of the balloon and it pops.
There IS a way around the problem...to put LESS gas into the balloon, so when it expands, there will be less gas = less expansion = higher altitude
before the balloon pops...right? But the problem is then one of if there is so little gas in the balloon to begin with, it will not have the lifting
capacity to actually rise....the solution is quite elegant in it's simplicity really...have TWO balloons.
The initial lift off, carrying balloon, filled to maximum lifting capacity, have the second, (deflated) balloon and gas stowed as cargo.
Once the lifting balloon nears or reaches it's maximum ceiling height, the second balloon is jettisoned or released, either by remote command, or by
automated altimeter means, and gassed only minimally.
The low pressure at it's altitude (~ 20 miles) will expand a small amount of gas, but not so much that it will explode the second balloon like the
first one, since the second would be only need to be filled (from a small canister) to a much lesser degree, and so can travel much higher than the
This might be what we're seeing in your videos.
I recall there were / are plans that involve using high altitude balloons (BIG / multiple balloons) as a first stage lift in space craft designs, this
may be a method being tested of delivering a payload, such as a micro satellite into low Earth orbit.