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The Earth is round, as proven once again

on 07 December 2018

Highest altitude: 31625 metres (103 756 ft.)

Launch time: 08:00 AM, 3 December 2018

Ground coordinates: 44055.97’ N/2708.88’E

Image credit: Romanian Space Agency (ROSA)

This image was obtained from 30 480 metres altitude, on 3 December 2018, during tests on a high-altitude balloon.


The objectives of the flight were:

  1. Validation of methodology to predict trajectory (developed software package)
  2. Validation of technological components for trajectory control
  3. Validation of software recovery

The above objectives were carried out with the view to continue the development activities for a high-altitude research platform under ESA projects.

The implementation team included the following members: Florin Mingireanu, Ionel Fertu and Aurel Chirilă.

On the occasion of this flight, the team decided to do an outreach activity by filming at 1080p resolution the ROSA logo and the logo that marks 100 years since Romania’s Great Union. Additionally, the ROSA anniversary medal was placed inside the nacelle, being recovered after the landing.

The balloon trajectory was monitored via radio, and the flight was controlled both remotely and via an on-board computer that was running a software developed especially for the three objectives mentioned above.

This flight is the 11th in a series of high-altitude flights with the aim to develop aerospace technological components for control and for increasing flight safety. The flights were performed in Europe, Australia and USA.

During 2019, other eight flights are scheduled with the goal to develop innovative components for the recovery of experiment packages from high altitude.


2018 11 Romania A large

Fig 1: a photo taken at 30 480 metres above sea level. Outside temperature: 2.6 degrees Celsius.

Horizontal speed for high-altitude balloon system: 52.5 m/s, course: 1080

Time: 08:23:28 UTC

Ground coordinates: 44055.97’ N/2708.88’E


2018 11 Romania B

Fig. 2: Altitude as a function of time

2018 11 Romania C

Fig. 3: 3D flight profile displayed in Google Earth