A balloon has been drifting over the southwest corner of the state over the past few days. Friday morning, it was still visible from Main Street, but hovering in the northwestern corner of New Mexico, traveling at around 7 knots at an altitude of a little under 63,000 feet, according to Flight Radar 24.
The balloon belongs to the Tucson-based company World View Enterprises, according to David Serfoss with the Cortez Flying Service.
Russ Machen, manager of the Cortez Municipal Airport, said they first noticed the balloon yesterday in southeastern Utah. This morning it drifted above Mesa Verde.
This balloon sighting comes about a week after locals may have noticed others in the area. NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, based in Palestine, Texas, launches four balloon campaigns throughout the year, one of which takes off out of Fort Sumner, New Mexico.
The facility launches large, unmanned research balloons for NASA centers and universities looking to conduct scientific experiments at high altitudes. There was a balloon in the Four Corners area as part of the Fort Sumner campaign, said the campaign manager Hugo Franco, but it has since been recovered.
This article was updated Sept. 14 to correct the spelling of “Tucson.”