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NASA Launches Telescope Built by UMass Lowell

Tethered to a gigantic balloon, PICTURE-C launched from NASA's Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner, N.M. Photo by NASA
Tethered to a gigantic balloon, PICTURE-C launched from NASA's Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner, N.M., on Saturday.

10/03/2019
Boston Globe
By Emily Sweeney

NASA has launched a telescope built by the University of Massachusetts Lowell that could someday find planets and other objects in space that have yet to be discovered, university officials said in a news release.

The telescope, which is about 14 feet long and weighs 1,500 pounds, was lifted on Saturday to the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere by a gigantic helium balloon from the NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner, N.M.

The balloon measured 39 million cubic feet — about the size of a football field, university officials said.

The telescope rose to heights of about 125,000 feet before returning to Earth, university officials said.