NASA have finally managed to release a giant balloon at Wanaka airport this morning.
It was the eighth time they had attempted a launch in the last two weeks. It was launched at 10am on a clear day in Wanaka with light winds.
The agency wants to test the technology for long-duration flights at mid-latitudes, as long-haul balloon flights become a cheaper tool for the study of the near-space environment.
The balloon would head north-east, before floating off the coast of the South Island. From there it will travel towards South America.
According to this flight tracker website the balloon is currently at an altitude of 108,800 feet and is moving towards Christchurch at about 20km/h. To view the flight CLICK HERE