Clare County Review & Marion Press

Weather balloon drops in Marion resident’s back yard

On Monday, January 25th, at around 10 am, Marion resident Bob Friend was sitting in his living room when he noticed a small orange parachute falling into his backyard.
“At first I thought maybe it was a balloon from a wedding or some event that just happened to make its way out here,” Friend said.
After closer inspection, Bob realized that it was a weather balloon, equipped with an LMS6 Radiosonde, sent from Green Bay, Wisconsin earlier that morning – at approximately 2 am. According to Lockheed Martin, the LMS6 “provides optimized meteorological, wind, and position data as the balloon ascends through the atmosphere.”
Bob estimates that the balloon flew approximately 150 miles in about 8 hours before landing in his backyard.
In another bit of coincidence, the Lockheed Martin device originated from Marion, Massachusetts.
“It’s kind of a novelty, I didn’t realize they were still using the weather balloons with all the other technologies available,” Bob said. “And what are the chances that it was made in another town called Marion.”
The device includes instructions for Bob to send it back to the Green Bay lab that it came from to be used again.
“Once the novelty wears off, I might send it back,” Bob joked. “Or, if it has GPS, they might just knock on the door and pick it up.”

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