The huge, helium-filled balloons for the next National Aeronautics and Space Administration environmental observation project will be made from fabric codeveloped by TEIJIN LTD. and DIMENSION POLYANT, INC. The 460-foot-diameter balloons, which will orbit the earth six times in about 100 days from some 32 miles up in the stratosphere, will carry about 4 tons of instrumentation. The base fabric for the balloons will be Teijin's lightweight but industrial-strength polyester Tetoron Powerrip. Putnam, Connecticut-based Dimension Polyant will laminate this fabric with polyester and polyethylene films, creating a five-layer material with a low moisture-absorption rate. The first of what is expected to be four NASA balloon launches a year is scheduled for December 2001.
An exchange rate of ¥103=$1.00 was used in this report. aaa