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Last August the largest telescope ever flown above the earth was sent aloft from the National Balloon Launch Facility at Palestine, Texas, to take a long hard look into the heart of our own galaxy.

Carried to an altitude of some 95,000 feet by a 250-foot-diameter helium-filled balloon, the telescope is designed to search out and study the strange, and so far unexplained, sources of far-infrared radiation at the center of the Milky Way.