BRAGG CITY, MO (KPLR) - Pemiscot County Sheriff Deputy Anthony Dale says it’s a first for Missouri. He helped retrieve a balloon from Google. It’s part of Google’s Project Loon. The project is part of an ongoing effort to use solar powered balloons to create internet access to rural communities.
Dale says the balloon came down Thursday in a farm field in Bragg City. He estimated the balloon to be 65 feet in length.
“Google contacted the air traffic control and gave them the information that this balloon was descending at this speed and heading in this direction, this GPS coordinates and the FAA was able to monitor the descent,” said Dale.
In addition to the balloon, there was also a parachute.
“The way they explained it to me, they have a 45 pound spring in it that actually just threw the chute out and it slowed the descent enough to land soft,” said Dale.
Google calls the landing safe and controlled and says it always plans to take balloons down over safe recovery zones. Google continues to do research flights as it tries to improve the technology.
Dale says he was told the one that landed in Missouri was launched in Nevada 14 months ago. He finds the technology amazing and hopes someday it is put to good use.