The Weather Balloon

You may be familiar with weather balloons. Sometimes up to 20-feet in diameter, they can be filled with helium, given a small scientific payload, and ascend to the upper limits of the atmosphere, taking and recording various sensor readings as they go. Then, when the outside pressure becomes significantly less than the interior pressure of the balloon, they burst, and the payload falls back to earth with the assistance of a small parachute. The group that launched the balloon tracks down the fallen package and retrieves the data. In this way, scientists and hobbyists can learn a great deal about the upper reaches ...

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