Succesful end for BEXUS IV - 6/26/2006
Kiruna (Sweden).- With the landing of the gondola 10 km west of Naimakka, near the Finish border has come to an end the operational phase of the yearly student project BEXUS IV. After several delays and near 5 aborted flight attempts the balloon was launched from the swedish base of ESRANGE on June 19th at 11:13 utc for a stratospheric flight lasting 4 hours.
The payload was recovered the next day by a helicopter at the landing site and was returned safely back to Esrange. According to the post flight report, preliminary results show that one of the student's experiment -a webcam mounted on the side of the gondola- have suffered some damage during the landing on the structure but the rest of the experiments are ok and seemed to work as they have done during the test phases. However it still not clear if they worked 100% until the data has been checked. The new platform built and tested during this flight seemed to work perfectly and gives good hope for the forthcoming BEXUS flights.
For more details please see the flight data sheet of the BEXUS IV mission published today in StratoCat containing the flight analisis and also images of the launch.
Now is time to wait for the full post flight report on each experiment, to be published in the near future in the project's website at http://project.irv.se/default.asp?proj=2. There are published also pictures from the flight including some quite interesting images taken from the stratosphere. Don't miss that.
ULDB balloon failure report - 6/13/2006
Kiruna (Sweden).- After several delays due to the bad weather, the operations at the swedish base of ESRANGE to launch the second balloon from the transatlantic long duration campaign, started on the night of June 11th and ended with the succesfull launch of the balloon on June 12th at 2:06 utc. At left we can see an image taken trough the webcam mounted in a nearby hill and captured in the exact moment of the balloon release.
The initial ascent phase take the balloon to the east, and after reaching flight altitude, returned to the west course as expected, but after a while the flight was terminated meanwhile the craft was still over swedish territory. The payload cut loose from the balloon landed in a place located 20 km east of the Stora Sjofallet National Park. Both gondola and balloon were recovered.
For more details please see the flight data sheet of the ULDB mission published today in StratoCat containing the preliminary failure analisis and also images of the launch.
The first transatlantic balloon landed in Canada - 6/7/2006
Kiruna (Sweden).- The first balloon from the transatlantic long duration campaign launched the past June 2th from the swedish base of ESRANGE, landed today June 7th on the southwestern border of Victoria Island in the north of Canada. The landing site is located close to the strait wich separates the island from the continent exactly at coordinates 68º 30' N / 112º 58' W that is 163 nautic miles west of the city of Cambridge Bay. And judging by the pictures it landed on ice.
The balloon flight path experimented yesterday a slight north derivation, approaching to the sea, so we guess flight control decided to terminate the flight before risking the recovery of the payload -the cosmic ray detector AESOP- from the water. The total flight time was 5 days, 4 hours and 25 minutes.
At left is a picture of the landing site showing the parachute that taken the payload to the ground, click it to enlarge.
Also is available the complete flight report, including launch operations images , clicking here.