Washington: Super-TIGER, the balloon carrying the cosmic-ray detector, has set a new record by floating in the air 45 days serenely in the Antarctica.
It shattered the previous record of 42 days set by Cream I, another cosmic ray experiment that flew during the winter of 2004-2005.
The team celebrated by thanking everyone involved in a long series of tweets -- including the balloon’s maker, Raven Aerostar, and NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, which tracks and controls the balloon.
The Super-TIGER was launched from the Ross Ice Shelf on Dec. 9, 2012, and has circled the South Pole two and a half times at an altitude of about 130,000 feet, three or four times higher than passenger planes cruise.
The team hopes it will complete the circuit in another 8 to 10 days, coming back round to McMurdo latitude, or at least close enough that it can be retrieved.