TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – An unmanned stratospheric balloon crashed into the Rincon Mountains east of Tucson on Wednesday during a test flight, authorities said.
Officials from Tucson-based World View Enterprises told KVOA TV that the test flight took place to check the remote system of a high-altitude balloon.
Company officials said the test passed during launch and climb tests, but crashed while checking its long-duration flight capabilities.
World View Enterprises officials told the Arizona Daily Star that the unmanned flight took off from the company’s headquarters and launch pad south of Tucson International Airport and crashed around 10:30 a.m.
According to the newspaper, World View has conducted unmanned stratospheric balloon missions from its Tucson site and other sites for research and commercial clients since 2014, recording more than 100 missions.
World View officials said the crashed balloon was unrelated to its space tourism project.
The company on Monday announced plans to begin offering $ 50,000 tourist flights aboard special manned capsules by 2024.
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