THE ascent of an observation balloon into the stratosphere, organised by the National Geographic Society and the U.S. Army Air Corps, described in NATURE of July 28, p. 132, took place over Rapid City, North Dakota, on July 29; but, after rising 60,000 ft., the balloon ripped open and dropped to earth. The pilot, Major W. E. Kepner, and the observers, Capt. A. W. Stevens and Capt. O. A. Anderson, however, were saved by means of parachutes. The gondola, with the remnants of the balloon, fell into a field near Loomis, Nebraska. According to the Times report, it was much damaged, but most of the scientific instruments escaped harm.