Prior to launch, the team laid out the parachute and hang lines in front of SPIDER, seen in the distance. The long-duration balloon that would carry SPIDER into the sky is attached to the end of the parachute shown here in the foreground.
Read the full story and see a slideshow from Caltech at http://www.caltech.edu/content/spider-experiment-touches-down-antarctica#more.
The SPIDER project originated in the early 2000s with the late Andrew Lange's Observational Cosmology Group at Caltech, and collaborators. The experiment is now led by William Jones of Princeton University, who was a graduate student of Lange's.
SPIDER is funded in part by NASA. The NASA Balloon Program Office at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia has oversight of all NASA balloon flight operations, including SPIDER. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.