Sounding Balloons

Mobile Rocket Base supports not only rocket, but also campaigns with stratospheric balloons.

MORABA’s first involvement was in 1975, with the balloon flight of the “Spectrostratoscope” in Texas, and the processing of the payload PCM data. MORABA then began to establish its own complete balloon infrastructure and to launch its own balloons from the testing site of the DFVLR in Oberpfaffenhofen. The payloads were returned safely to the ground by parachute, often in the Black Forest, or even in Austria. International flights, e.g. in France, Argentina and India, were also carried out, mainly with experiments on the composition of the atmosphere and contamination of it. Due to the increase in aviation traffic in Germany, flight permission was only granted between midnight and six in the morning, and flights were soon stopped altogether. Due to the high demand, MORABA began to concentrate more and more on rocket missions. MORABA’s last flight with large balloons (600,000 m³) was the testing of the “MIKROBA” drop capsule in Esrange from 1988 til 1992.


Today, MORABA is still involved in the programme’s BEXUS balloon flights with various roles within the REXUS/BEXUS programme. MORABA supports the balloon team in Esrange within the scope of the EuroLaunch co-operation, e.g. on the launch team, with telemetry or project management. The 12 000 m³ BEXUS balloons reach a maximum altitude of 35 km and have a flight time of 2–5 hours. The gondolas can transport up to 100 kg of student experiments.