GPN Team to Tour NASA Balloon Facility on October 6, Join Us!

September 11, 2023

Through the assistance of the Hibbs Institute for Business and Economic Research, members of the Great Plains Network have been invited to tour the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine, Texas on October 6.  If you are interested in joining, please RSVP to Mickey Slimp, Executive Director for the Great Plains network at

Located at 1510 FM RD 3224, Palestine, TX 75803, the site is just over three hours southwest of Texarkana, AR, and about the same southeast from Ardmore, OK. 

Starting at 10 am, participants should arrive at least fifteen minutes early. The tour can accommodate up to fifteen people, so please RSVP with names and titles. Also, please share with GPN parties who may be interested in the tour. 

The Columbia facility is a NASA plant, “Responsible for providing launch, tracking and control, airspace coordination, telemetry and command systems, and recovery services for unmanned high-altitude balloons” for NASA centers, universities, and scientific groups worldwide. Balloons constructed here can carry payloads of scientific instruments, weather devices, and telescopes, up to 8000 lbs. more than 20 miles into the atmosphere. For further details, please visit the websites at: and hibbs-brief-august-2023.pdf (

Following the tour, the participants will gather at Little Mexico restaurant in Palestine. For background, see The Scientific Balloon Story at