NASA's stratospheric balloon mission

Telescopes designed to operate in space have to be constructed differently than those meant to operate on the ground

t what about telescopes that operate in between?

An upcoming NASA mission will use a balloon larger than a football field to send a telescope 130,000 feet

From that height, the telescope will study a phenomenon that chokes off star formation in some galaxies, effectively killing them.

The mission, called the Astrophysics Stratospheric Telescope for High Spectral Resolution Observations at Submillimeter-wavelengths

 Construction of the 8.2-foot (2.5-meter) mirror wrapped up this month. Designing and building it proved challenging because of two key demands: 

The mirror and its support structure must be exceptionally light to travel by balloon, 

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