PICTURE-C (Planetary Imaging Concept Testbed Using a Recoverable Experiment - Coronagraph)
Developed by University of Massachusetts Lowell / NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) / Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) / Caltech / MIT / The Space Telescope Science Institute / University of California Santa Barbara
Balloon launched on 9/28/2019, from Scientific Flight Balloon Facility, Fort Sumner, (NM), US
Description of the payload
PICTURE C is an exoplanet mission based on a high-altitude balloon aimed to explore Earthlike planets in Earthlike orbits orbiting Sunlike stars. The instrument can spectrally imaging debris disks and exozodiacal light around a number of stars spanning a range of infrared excesses, stellar types, and ages. The mission is designed to characterize the background near those stars, to study the disks themselves, and to look for planets in those systems.
The PICTURE C instrument is composed basically by an off-axis afocal Gregorian telescope with the coronagraph mounted behind the primary mirror. The telescope is mounted on the Wallops ArcSecond Pointing (WASP) system, a NASA balloon gondola with gimbal to point the telescope to ~1" in pitch and yaw. At left there is a basic scheme of it. The roll around the pointing axis is not controlled. The system has several active elements to further stabilize the pointing and to correct for thermal, mechanical, and optical distortions.
Video of the launch operations
Details of the balloon flight and scientific outcome
+ 3000 pictures, many historical ones
+ 20 articles from different contributors
balloon launch records already published
balloon launch records in the full database
StratoCat is a non-profit, educational and informative website created, developed and programmed by Luis E. Pacheco. It is based on an idea first conceived by the author in 2001 and is online since September 17th, 2005.
This website is an independent initiative, and thus is not endorsed, supported or have any relationship with any governmental or private agency or company in the balloon field.