HSMM and balloons

Chip Fetrow tacos at fetrow.org
Sun Oct 21 03:10:41 CDT 2012

My wife and I spent two days at the NWS open house in Sterling a few  
weeks ago.  They actually launched two "fake" WX balloon launches both  
days.  The electronics packages were simulations.  We were there for  
three of the four.

I talked at length with them.  When they moved the HQ building, they  
moved the balloon facility to the east end of the building, right next  
door.  The NWS is feeling the squeeze regarding the shortage of He.   
It is costing them a lot of money.  Some NWS facilities are currently  
using H2, when the facilities support it.

In the old facility, the balloon launch building was more than 100  
yards from the old HQ building.  I was there for Skywarn Appreciation  
a few years ago when they launched the night balloon (1200 Z).  Oddly,  
both buildings are still there.  They could use H2 because the balloon  
facility was far enough away.  Now, with the balloon facility right up  
against the HQ building, they cannot.  They will need to build another  
building for balloons.

The difference in cost is way over the top.  They need to just go back  
to the old building.  Yes, it is now on airport property, but it isn't  
as if the airport is actually using it.  Taxpayer waste at work.


On Oct 21, 2012, at 12:32 AM, tacos-request at amrad.org wrote:

> Message: 5
> Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2012 20:49:57 -0600
> From: Doug Gentges <doug.gentges at gmail.com>
> To: "Robert E. Seastrom" <rs at seastrom.com>
> Subject: Re: HSMM and balloons
> Here in Denver, our local high altitude balloon group EOSS was  
> paying over
> $300 for a He 300 ( about 260 SCF) until mid summer, when we were  
> told it
> was no longer available at any price.  We're now paying $18 for a  
> similar
> sized bottle of H2.
> It does wonders for the budget, although we have a small number of  
> members
> who want nothing to do with H2.  We call that the Hindenburg effect.
> Doug

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