Flying a balloon-borne instrument around Antarctica requires a lot of preparation.  After the instrument has been constructed and is working,  NASA requires that the instrument be flown in a North American test flight before going to Antarctica.  Here are some pictures from our North American test flight in the summer of 1997.  We took  good data during this flight, and have submitted two science papers which you can find in on our publications page.
 
 
The partially assembled gondola hanging in the NSBF highbay.
The Gondola outside hanging on the launch 
vehicle (Tiny Tim),  ready for flight.

 
 
The payload and launch vehicle (Tiny Tim) on the launch pad (to the left) with the balloon rising (on the right) just after the balloon was released...
The balloon continues to rise;  Tiny Tim holds the payload until the balloon rises overhead, being careful to position the payload directly underneath the rising balloon, and then... 
...lets go!  Boomerang rises into the Texas evening sky for its overnight test flight.