A high altitude balloon was seen across Arizona and had folks around Northern Arizona asking questions. The balloon is from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine, Texas, managed by Northrup Grumman. However, it was launched from Fort Sumner, New Mexico Tuesday morning. NASA officials say it is a “Mullenax Test Flight.” According to NASA.gov, a Mullenax flight is named after Robert Mullenax, who is a meteorologist at the NASA test facility. Mullenax test flights measure stratospheric wind directions. The facility provides the services of launching unmanned, high altitude research balloons for tracking and recovering scientific experiments for NASA centers and universities worldwide. This balloon was spotted near Flagstaff, at a reported altitude of 102-thousand feet, at around 6 p.m. As the sun set, the balloon headed west, passing Chino Valley, heading toward California.
To track the balloon, click here: