World View Balloon Ruptures, Rattles the Neighbors

World View launches its first Stratollite balloon from Spaceport Tucson. (Credit: World View)

World View has released an expanded statement about a balloon explosion that rattled windows and walls near their facility in Tucson:

Following the completion of a successful fill test on the launch pad, during the process of releasing gas from the balloon, a World View test article ruptured.

There were no injuries, however, two World View employees reported ringing in their ears and were referred to a local Urgent Care for evaluation.

We also now know that some damage has been reported by a few residents and businesses in the area in
addition to superficial facility damage at the site and we will be proactively coordinating with the parties affected.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this incident may have caused our local neighbours. We are
working to fully understand the cause of the incident to ensure that it cannot and will not happen again.

  • SamuelRoman13

    “very close” to substituting hydrogen for helium in balloons. They said.I guess not. It might have been a rupture, but the damage had to be caused by an explosion. Old lessons not learned.

  • Jeff2Space

    Agreed. Balloons like these don’t operate at significant pressures. The “boom” had to be caused by rapid hydrogen combustion accompanied by a shock wave (or in laymen’s terms, an explosion).

  • patb2009

    If there was superficial damage in the area. Given an explosion is R(Cubed), I would hate to see the damage at the site.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Tell me they are not planning on launching hydrogen balloons from an urban area…

    Also it appears they didn’t learn the lesson from the VG explosion about having protective gear. I hope the employees don’t have permanent hearing damage.

  • ThomasLMatula

    I wondered how many windows they broke. Also I wonder if the FAA will be reviewing the license for the “spaceport” to revise estimates to possible third party damages now that there has been some.

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  • patb2009
  • ThomasLMatula

    A local news report.

    The report of a cloud of white smoke could be dust from the explosion…

    “Several Tucson News Now viewers reported hearing a loud boom, seeing white smoke and feeling the ground shake around 12:45 p.m.”