• CNES officials said early tests of the Loon project with balloons launched from New Zealand convinced the agency that the Google idea, while “appearing crazy,” was feasible and merited a closer look.
  • CNES has maintained an active balloon launch program for studies of upper-atmospheric air currents, the chemical composition of the atmosphere at specific altitudes and other purposes, launching as many as 20 balloons a month.
  • Deploying Loon would require substantial regulatory and diplomatic effort to win the regulatory approval for every nation whose territory is overflown by one of the balloons, a challenge that CNES faced about three years ago as it planned an equatorial balloon campaign.

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