February 27, 2012:
Near Space Corporation (NSC), one of seven suborbital flight providers selected to support the NASA Flight Opportunities Program, is proud to announce the creation of the first commercial high altitude balloon flight facility. Located in Tillamook, Oregon, the $6.9 million first phase will include 31,000 square feet of construction. It will serve as NSC headquarters and will house engineering, manufacturing, payload integration, and flight operations at a single location. The new facility will enable an unprecedented level of responsiveness and an increased capacity to meet the growing needs of NSC customers.
Designed by LRS Architects of Portland, Oregon, the facility will serve as acentral element within the new Port of Tillamook Bay Airport Business Park. Key features will include the balloon launch circle, the observation tower, the payload integration hangar, the engineering and administration offices, and the balloon production wing. Construction is planned to begin this spring, and NSC will move into the facility during the fall of 2012.
Commercial balloon flights to near space will be launched from the new facility, including several of those reserved through the NASA Flight Opportunities Program. Payloads ranging in mass from hundreds of grams to thousands of kilograms will be lofted to altitudes up to and exceeding 130,000 feet (approximately 40 kilometers) above sea level. At those heights, vital scientific research experiments and new technology demonstrations will be carried out in a space-like environment above 99% of Earth’s atmosphere.