National Geographic : 1955 Dec
spot, its nerve center. A little blip of light had just popped up on the operator's screen. "Weather. I just picked up your toy bal loon," the radarman went on. "Don't know how long I can hold it tonight. Man, is this vile!" And he began calling off every 60 sec onds the distance and direction of the climb ing wind-driven sphere. From this progressive plot the weathermen determine the wind at any altitude the bal loon reaches while still in radar range. Under average conditions radar can follow the tar gets attached to the sphere some 50 miles. However, the balloon may still be climbing long after it escapes the electronic eye. By the time the radar plot and graphs were computed and the weather report was ready for transmission, about two hours had passed. Bagnell, tired and drawn under the stark light, was working on the last page of the report. He typed furiously when the carriage tilted down-wave, then plunked deliberately when the rolling ship made the carriage work slowly uphill. Radioman Relays Storm Report When Bagnell finished typing his report of the storm conditions, he stuffed the paper into his parka. He and Sutton checked to see that all the instruments were off and that the chairs, the stool, and everything else not welded to the deck or bulkhead were secure. Then the two weathermen clambered back over the open deck to the cabin area forward. At a half-door barring the way into the radio room, Bagnell fished the typed sheet from his coat pocket. "If you've got nothing to do later on, send this singing telegram, will you?" The radioman looked at the haggard ob server and grinned. "Yeah. Might even do it right now!"