Chinese scientists have launched a rocket into the upper atmosphere from a large helium balloon from Lenghu in northwestern China in Qinghai province. Such rockets can carry scientific instruments to collect various data.
After the balloon reached the designated altitude, the rocket was fired via remote control from Earth.
Created for air launch, the balloon was made of thin plastic and filled with helium at low pressure. The balloon was designed by Xingjian Tianhang Space Technology together with the Institute of Atmospheric Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
This launch technology is several times cheaper than the usual launch from the Earth because no expensive fuel is used. Thus, it saves fuel and reduces overall costs, and may begin to be actively used in the near future.