Purpose of the flight and payload description

Yucca was the code name of the first and unique high altitude test of a nuclear device ever carried by a stratospheric balloon.

The main goal of the US Department of Defense and Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory was to study the effects of the detonation of a "W-25" air defense warhead at high altitude as part of the developmental work of an Anti Ballistic Missile. This test, along with two other exoatmospherics detonations performed using rocket-borne warheads of megaton scale (code named "Teak" and "Orange") were included under Operation Newsreel, as part of Operation Hardtack I.

Details of the mission, launch operations and detonation

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 4/28/1958 at 11:25 utc
Launch site: USS Boxer (LHD-4) anclado al norte del Atolón de Eniwetok, Islas Marshall
Balloon launched by: Air Force Cambridge Research Center (AFCRC)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon Winzen - 128 ft - Natural shape tailored tapeless - 800.000 cuft
Flight identification number: G-77-S
Landing site: Nuclear device detonated 140 km ENE of Eniwetok Atoll, Pacific Ocean
Campaign: Operation HARDTACK 1  

External references

Images of the mission

Launch of the balloon carrying the nuclear device from the deck of the USS BOXER       View of the nuclear device detonation from Eniwetok

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