BNSF Logistics (BNSFL) Houston’s Global Project Centre team successfully coordinated and supported the recovery for a NASA Super Pressure Balloon which was launched from New Zealand close to the city of Arequipa in Peru.
For the first part of the recovery the experts from BNSFL had to determine accessibility and route possibilities in order to not only get personnel to impact location, but equipment as well.
The balloon was relatively close and easy to get to but the payload on the other hand took the team across land, river beds and various types of terrain between volcanic rock laden hills to soft talcum-like sands that put their 4×4 vehicle to good use. Needless, to say, it was quickly determined that driving to the payload to recover equipment was not going to work and that’s where the helicopter came in very handy.
For the balloon, BNSFL knew that large trucks would not make it via the main access road and that no vehicles would make it via the secondary road it was discovered, as it turned out to be a one lane road, that dropped about 2-3000 feet and was precarious at best. One of the BNSFL Senior Project Managers was attending the recovery mission.
After the team managed to recover all the equipment , everything was transported to Lima and flown back to Houston.
BNSF Logistics represents the Worldwide Project Consortium (WWPC) in the USA.
NASA balloon photo credit: NASA – Bill Rodman.