Purpose of the flight and payload description
The objective of the flight was to perform a qualification mission for the Stratofilm SF-450 37H "Heavy" balloon. Measuring 37 million cubic foot of volume the balloon is designed to transport heavy payloads up to 8.000 pounds. As it was a technological flight, the flight transported no scientific payload. Instead, a specially built gondola knicknamed "thunderbird" was used to carry enough ballast to simulate the heavy payloads the balloon is meant to carry on. Also a full set of cameras and sensors were located in the gondola to study the behaviour of the balloon in flight.
Details of the balloon flight
Balloon launched on: 6/5/2007 at 14:08
Launch site: Scientific Flight Balloon Facility, Fort Sumner, (NM), US
Balloon launched by: Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon Raven - 36.730.000 cuft (Stratofilm 450)
Flight identification number: 571NT
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 6/5/2007 at 15:30
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 4 h 22 m
Landing site: 41 miles from Fort Sumner, New Mexico, US
Payload weight: 6000 lbs
The balloon was launched by dynamic method with assistance from launch vehicle on June 5th, 2007 at 14:08 utc.
After a nominal ascent phase the balloon started to move due southeast until reach float altitude (122.000 ft) when it changed his route due west, with a slighty southward desviation, as can be seen in the map at left (click to enlarge).
The balloon was terminated after 4 hours and 22 minutes of flight the same day. The separation of the payload occured at 18:30 utc wich landed at 19:10 utc 41 miles southwest of Fort Sumner, New Mexico.