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NASA's SuperBIT Telescope propelled by Helium Balloon

The Super Pressure Balloon-Borne Imaging Telescope (SuperBIT) has captured its first images of the universe on its maiden balloon-borne flight, flown to the edge of space by a helium-filled NASA balloon the size of a football stadium, containing an estimated 19mmcf of helium. The telescope is a collaboration between the University of Toronto, Princeton University, Durham University and NASA, and aims to investigate the properties of dark matter, an invisible heavy material. The balloon will circumnavigate the southern hemisphere for three months, taking high-resolution images like those from the Hubble Space Telescope, but with a wider field of view. The helium balloon's use made the project significantly cheaper than a satellite equivalent as helium is still cheaper than rocket fuel.

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