Aussie pico balloon downed

For those following the Pico Balloon it appears it has gone down again.
After a period of silence, it’s believed the small solar-powered pico balloon from Australia went down north-east of New Zealand, probably due to rain and ice in the area.

Andy Nguyen VK3YT reports that PS-31 gave out its final JT9 packet message and was lost.

The balloon, launched from Melbourne Australia on Saturday January 24, manoeuvred forming an s-shape but was lost after as dark fell and it was across the International Dateline in the South Pacific.

Andy VK3YT who launched both the PS-31 and PS-32 balloons says “Thanks everyone for tracking, and hope PS-32 (the other balloon) will keep going for much longer.”

PS-32 with the VK3ANH callsign continues to be tracked and is over the Southern Ocean. It was put up from Woori Yallock 56kms east of Melbourne on January 26, and is taking a solar route before hopefully travelling around Cape Horn in South America.

Like all recent balloons in the series launched by Andy VK3YT for the Southern Hemisphere, it is fitted with QRP transmission of both WSPR and JT9 giving trackers the location, speed and altitude along with other data.

Jim Linton VK3PC

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