Developed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
Balloon launched on 8/22/2019, from Scientific Flight Balloon Facility, Fort Sumner, (NM), US
Purpose of the flight and payload description
BOBCAT is the acronym of Balloon-Borne Cryogenic Telescope Testbed, a technology demonstration to develop advanced instrumentation for astrophysical observations at far-infrared wavelengths, carried out at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).
Main objective of the project is to develop cryogenic techniques as an enabling technology to improve far-IR sensitivity by a factor of 100,000 or more compared to current state-of-the-art instrumentation such as airborne telescope SOFIA. Cryogenic spectrometers, operating at balloon altitudes, have game-changing capabilities, but achieving this goal while remaining within balloon payload mass limits requires ultra-light cryostats. This project is developing an ultra-light cryostat and demonstrates the ability to transfer cryogenic liquids between dewars at balloon altitudes.
Video footage of the launch
Details of the balloon flight
Balloon launched on: 8/22/2019 at 13:59 utc 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 Aerostar - W29.47-2X-94 - 29.470.000 cuft Flight identification number: 696N End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 8/22/2019 at (L) 22:30 utc
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 8 h 30 m Landing site: 90 km E of Holbrook, Arizona, US
Payload weight: 3136 lb
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