Description of the payload

Is an exposure platform containing test materials supplied by various research groups.

The multi-instrument platform aim is to provide direct exposure to the interplanetary Galactic Cosmic Ray Composition and full energy spectra, to enable experimental validation of NASA's radiation transport codes used to protect astronauts from space radiation, to test the radiation shielding effectiveness of typical as well as novel spacecraft construction materials and to develope and test new radiation monitoring instrumentation.

Also this flight was the engineering proof-of concept flight to validate the DSTB gondola engineering design and NSBF systems interface for future Antarctic flights.

Details of the balloon flight and scientific outcome


Launch site: Scientific Flight Balloon Facility, New Mexico, US  
Balloon launched by: National Scientific Balloon Facility (NSBF)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon Raven 28.400.000 - 0.8 Mil.
Balloon serial number: R 28.40-3-121
Flight identification number: 546N
Payload weight: 2695 lbs
Overall weight: 4018 lbs

The balloon was successfully launched by dynamic method (Big Bill launch vehicle) at 10:45 a.m. CDT following numerous delays since mid-May due to weather, primarily high winds.

After a initial ascent phase, the balloon achieved float altitude of 125,000 feet starting a fly path to the southwest of the state of New Mexico, crossing it (click the map at left to see the balloon route).

After near 10 hours of flight the separation command was sent at 19:45 CDT as planned and the payload landed at 20:38 CDT in a national forest 13 miles south southwest of Reserve, NM (33-31.1 N / 108-51.0 W).

The recovery team arrived to the landing site and with help of a helicopter wich transported the payload from the mountain slope in wich landed to a near road from where the NSBF truck transported it back to Fort Sumner.

External references and bibliographical sources

Images of the mission

DSTB being picked-up by the launch vehicle An awesome image of the flight line. The images show the exact moment in wich the payload is picked up by the balloon and the launch arm release it. Also several views of the balloon at float. Aerial view of the landing site Close Up of the gondola