Purpose of the flight and payload description
A saucer-shaped vehicle aimed to test the aerodynamic properties of the parachutes for the Voyager (later renamed Viking) Mars probes.
Launched by a stratospheric balloon after float altitude achieved, the vehicle was released and following seconds of free fall the solid fueled rockets (12 Falcon in one version or 8 Sword-1 motors in the other) ignited and accelerated the test vehicle upwards, simulating a Mars Atmosphere reentry trajectory.
At burn out the aeroshell was released from the dummy payload, which then unfurled the parachutes and landed.
This was the fourth and final test of the Aeroshell. A fifth flight of the full-scale unit was cancelled because the engineers involved felt it would be a needless expense and the program had been so successful with the first four that sufficient data had been obtained.
Later on, the voyager program was cancelled, and replaced by the much smaller Viking project several years later.
Details of the balloon flight
Balloon launched on: 8/22/1967
Launch site: Roswell Industrial Air Center, New Mexico, US
Balloon launched by: Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories (AFCRL)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon Schjeldahl Co. 740.000 m3 (Tandem)
Flight identification number: H67-65
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 8/22/1967