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Temporary Restricted Area (TRA) is being proposed in support of an aerodynamic suitability test.
The proposed airspace change is defined in the Attachment: "AvSEF Consultation - Details of Proposed TRA". The key aspects of the drop-test project, including the safety consideration in (a) the airspace and (b) on the ground are contained in the Attachment: "AvSEF Drop Test of Sample Return Capsule".
The window for the scientific experiment is 1 April to 15 May 2023, subject to approval from CASA and Airservices Australia.
We invite advice and feedback from the aviation community who may be affected by the changed airspace.
A drop test of a space capsule from a stratospheric balloon is proposed. The balloon flight will be launched from Alice Springs airport and will last up to seven hours. When the balloon has floated to an area pre-selected for optimum safety, the capsule will be released from a height of 39-40km to fall (ballistic) towards earth. The aerodynamic stability of the capsule will be tested during the fall.
We are seeking feedback on a proposed TRA in the drop-zone to ensure safety of airspace users.
Following approval from Air Traffic Control (ATC), the Sample Return Capsule will be released from the balloon at 39-40km altitude. It will be in free-fall till it reaches 16 km altitude, when it will separate into three bodies. The main instrument, weighing 24kg will then come down to earth on a parachute. The two heat shields, weighing 18kg and 5kg respectively, will continue in free-fall to earth. Approval will be sought from ATC to terminate the balloon flight, when the remaining payload will descend to earth on a parachute. Helium gas from the balloon will be released for its descent to earth.