Monday, March 24, 2008

Europe still possible - and many thanks to SNOX!

First, although there have been no reports of the beacon in England or other parts of Europe yet, it is still possible that the balloon is flying at a lower than predicted altitude and thus could be delayed by as much as 20 hours over earlier estimates.

One station, M0XAP in Essex, reported hearing an "S" and a "G" in CW whilst monitoring 29.495 on USB at around 11:45 today - this could be nothing or, perhaps, this was the beacon (the "S" might have been part of a number in the telemetry string). England, please keep listening!

If we still have nothing in another day, then we can assume that the balloon probably met a cold, icy end... If the original float was closer to 8km than 9km, then it might have picked up significant frost over northern Canada or even Greenland. This would have forced the balloon to the ground, ending the mission.

I want to reiterate, though, that we simply don't know at this point and it is still entirely likely that the balloon will be heard in Europe. So please, keep monitoring 29.499 (and lower after sunset, possibly down by as much as 3khz).

Many, many thanks to Dan Bowen and the SNOX team for passing along our information to their listening network in Europe!

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