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No injuries were caused when a large, tethered test balloon ruptured as crews deconstructed it after a successful ground test to fill the balloon, World View spokesman Andrew Antonio said. The rupture resulted in a loud sound heard in the area, and a small fire on the balloon, he said. “We have reached out to reassure our immediate neighbors,” Antonio said. “There were no injuries and only superficial facility damage at the site.”
World View says it can use either helium or hydrogen gas to fill its stratospheric balloons but has initially been using hydrogen, which company officials have said is safe when handled properly.
World View also released its first images from a Stratollite balloon flight yesterday.
I think the second link demonstrates clearly that Stratollite is a good concept for high altitude reconnaissance. I think the first link demonstrates that hydrogen is still problematic for high altitude balloons.