Purpose of the flight and payload description

This flight was part of the developmental work of the Stratoscope II project. Goal was to test the effect of Cosmic Rays at altitude on the phototube to be used in future flights of the Stratoscope II telescope. Flight profile was to ascend to 60,000 ft, float for one hour at that altitude and descend on parachute.

The Stratoscope II system was one of the most sophisticated systems, electronically and mechanically, ever to be carried by a balloon. The project was under the direction of Martin Schwarzschild, astronomer at Princeton University. The instrument was a 36-inch telescope, designed to permit greatly improved nocturnal observation of planetary and stellar objects with a resolution of 0.1 second of arc.

The instrument performed eight scientific flights between March 1963 and September 1971.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 7/17/1964 at 4:51 cst
Launch site: Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, Palestine, Texas, US  
Balloon launched by: National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon General Mills 66CT - 120.000 cuft (2.0 MIL.)
Flight identification number: 53P
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 7/17/1964
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 2 h
Landing site: 2 miles N of Buffalo, Texas, US

Balloon burst at 54.000 ft

External references

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