Research crews test weather balloon at SIU ahead of eclipse - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Research crews test weather balloon at SIU ahead of eclipse

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CARBONDALE -- Thursday, researchers from Louisiana State University met at Saluki Stadium to test a weather balloon like the one they'll use to monitor the solar eclipse in Carbondale.

"I never expected to see a full solar eclipse in my lifetime, much less work on a project to view it from near space," said LSU physics student Brad Landry.

Landry says all the work setting up the balloon will give his team valuable data about the eclipse. 

"We don't typically launch in conditions like this, but we're headed back to Baton Rouge tomorrow so this is our last chance to get a practice run in," added Landry.

Flight test crews just hope for good weather come August 21.

"So I'm looking forward to clearer skies on August 21," explained team leader Gregory Guzik.

Guzik has been teaching physics and astronomy for decades, but he's never prepared for anything like he did Thursday.

"I've actually never seen an eclipse. I was in an eclipse once back in 1970 when I was in high school, and went to Georgia for that eclipse but it was clouded over," added Guzik.

Something his team and everyone traveling to southern Illinois for the eclipse hopes doesn't happen this August.

"Watching in the rain is enough for once," added Guzik.

So far the team has not had a test flight where the video stream has worked the entire trip.

They hope to have those bugs worked out by the August eclipse.

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