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NASA's balloon-carried BLAST sub-millimeter telescope is hoisted into launch position on Dec. 25, 2012, at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Credit: NASA/Wallops Flight Facility.

Balloons for astronomy is a lecture about the lofting technology of balloons to place astronomical detectors above nearly all of the Earth's atmosphere. It is part of an effort to describe lofting technologies in astronomy.

You are free to take this quiz based on balloons for astronomy at any time.

To improve your score, read and study the lecture, the links contained within, listed under See also, External links, and in the {{repellor vehicle}} template. This should give you adequate background to get 100 %.

As a "learning by doing" resource, this quiz helps you to assess your knowledge and understanding of the information, and it is a quiz you may take over and over as a learning resource to improve your knowledge, understanding, test-taking skills, and your score.

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To master the information and use only your memory while taking the quiz, try rewriting the information from more familiar points of view, or be creative with association.

Enjoy learning by doing!

Quiz[edit | edit source]


1 Yes or No, Balloons provide a long-duration platform to study any atmosphere, the universe, the Sun, and the near-Earth and space environment above as much as 99.7 % of the Earth's atmosphere.


2 Which of the following is associated with balloon astronomy?

a long-duration platform
ULDB project
the Moon
a low-cost, quick-response method
lighter-than-air gas
launched where the scientist needs to conduct the experiment

3 Yes or No, The various background effects OSO 1 encountered prompted the flight of similar detectors on a balloon to determine the cosmic-ray effects in the materials surrounding the detectors?


4 Which of the following is not a balloon astronomy experiment?


5 Yes or No, With appropriate calibrations for the atmosphere at or above a circumnavigational glider or superballoon, astronomical observations should be at least as good as those from satellites at much lower cost.


6 Complete the text:

Match up the radiation letter with each of the detector possibilities below:
Optical rays - L
Visual rays - M
Violet rays - N
Blue rays - O
Cyan rays - P
Green rays - Q
Yellow rays - R
Orange rays - S
Red rays - T
multialkali (Na-K-Sb-Cs) photocathode materials



broad-band filter centered at 404 nm


thallium bromide (TlBr) crystals


18 micrometers FWHM at 490 nm

wide-gap II-VI semiconductor ZnO doped with Co2+ (Zn1-xCoxO)


7 Yes or No, The Ultra Long Duration Balloon (ULDB) Project is developing new composite materials and a new balloon design, a standard gondola including power, global telemetry/command and an altitude control system.


8 True or False, The HEAT balloon-borne instrument is a High-Energy Antimatter Telescope.


9 Which of the following is not associated with balloons?

Lynn Lake, Manitoba
Fort Sumner, New Mexico
McMurdo Station, Antarctica
Palestine, Texas

10 Yes or No, Research balloons are balloons that are used for scientific research. They are usually (though not always) unmanned, filled with a lighter-than-air gas like helium, and fly at high altitudes.


Hypotheses[edit | edit source]

  1. Balloons were used for astronomy in the Incan Empire.

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]