Superpressure balloons circle the world
A team of NCAR scientists settled in Christchurch, New Zealand, in the mid-1960s to oversee a superpressure balloon project called Global Horizontal Sounding Technique, or GHOST. The balloons used by the team were designed to circle Earth at various altitudes, collecting wind and temperature data over remote regions. They couldn’t be flown in the Northern Hemisphere because the Soviet Union at the time prohibited overflights; the alternative was to send balloons into orbit around the Southern Hemisphere. GHOST fulfilled the long-time goal of atmospheric scientists to have a semi-permanent platform floating high in the atmosphere.