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The original stated motivation
for building BLAST was:
BLAST, or the “Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope,” will fly from a Long Duration Balloon (LDB) platform and incorporate a 2-meter primary mirror with large-format bolometer arrays operating at 250, 350, and 500 μm. By providing the first sensitive large-area (~0.5-40 deg²) submillimeter surveys at these wavelengths, BLAST will address some of the most important cosmological and Galactic questions regarding the formation and evolution of stars, galaxies and clusters.
BLAST's primary goals are to:
Through its 2 science flights, BLAST has succeeded in all of these goals!
The official BLAST Press Release about the BLAST06 first data release is available.
Several photos are available, including many high-resolution options.