▶️ Research balloon floats near Portland, surprising residents


Portland-area residents got a surprise from above Wednesday morning about an object floating through the sky. And unlike recent sightings about Chinese balloons over the U.S., this one was launched locally.

News stations reported getting dozens of calls about the object, which turned out to be a research balloon from a company called Near Space Corporation in Tillamook.

It was launched early Wednesday morning for a NASA project and reportedly reached an altitude of 100,000 feet — nearly 19 miles. KOIN 6 News in Portland said winds carried the balloon east over Forest Grove and then back west.

According to its website, “Near Space Corporation has operated since 1996 as a commercial provider of high altitude/near space platforms and flight services for government, academic and commercial customers. Since their inception, they have operated from facilities at the former WWII Tillamook Naval Air Station where a massive blimp hangar and the custom-built Johnson Near Space Center infrastructure provides an ideal location for end-to-end engineering, production and flight testing of their products.”

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