Polyethylene balloon being inflated for launch at Elmas Aerodrome, Cagliari, Sardinia, May–June 1952. This was one of a series of 12 flights made to test the potential for high-altitude cosmic ray observation. The experimental team, led by Professor C. F. Powell FRS, managed eight successful flights, but only four in which the photographic plates were recovered. The island of Sardinia was selected as a base because marine landings were preferred; the plates would be kept cool while waiting to be recovered by naval vessels and seaplanes.
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