The Loon Balloon

For the past couple of days I have been watching an unusual item on the Flight Radar site.

Normally I see aircraft of various types; fixed wing and rotary wing as well as the occasional glider.

This is something completely different.

No description available.

A big yellow blob which turns red with a red flight path when clicked on. That indicates a very high object as aircraft run through a spectrum from yellow to purple as they gain height. I had never seen a red flightpath before.

Then I discovered it was a balloon from Loon. Not being in the business, I had only heard vague rumours of this development but Wikipedia helped.

Anyways, I have continued to watch this balloon’s progress across Australia. It is now over the deserts in Western Australia, travelling East. At speeds ranging from 9kmh to 60kmh.

No description available.

Which all leads to the question, ‘WHY?’

My immediate thought was that it was heading to Fiji to help with post cyclonic recovery. Then I began to wonder if Loon knew of an impending cyclone in the Queensland area. Then I discovered Huawei is one of the ‘partners’ in the Loon project.

Perhaps the balloon is wandering towards the Chinese harbour of Darwin.

UPDATE –

Last seen it was nearing Kintore in the NT. Sadly, it keeps disappearing as it moves out of range of the sparse monitors in the outback. It is invisible at the moment – 7.45am AWST 21.12.2020 – but hopefully will drift into range again soon.

It did – – – Monday 21.12.2020 4pm AWST

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