Purpose of the flight and payload description
The primary objective of the Inertial Measurements Payload (IMP) was to obtain information of the launch, ascent, and float dynamics of high altitude payloads. This project was probably (not confirmed yet) a precursor or was related to the development of the BUSS (Balloon-Borne Ultraviolet Stellar Spectrometer) carried out by the same time at NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center. At the time the IMP was conceived, there was also concern that the cosmic ray induced cerenkov noise background at high altitudes might obscure the signal which the BUSS telescope payload was intended to detect, if the detectors were oriented in certain unfavorable directions. Thus, a direccional cerenkov measurements experiment was devised for the IMP flight.
Details of the balloon flight
Balloon launched on: 7/29/1970
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 Raven 5.000.000 cuft (0.75 mil. X-124)
Flight identification number: 573P
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): F 3 h 30 m
Payload weight: 699 lbs.
During the flight, all dynamics measurements which were desired for input into the telescope payload design were obtained. The loss of gyro measurements due to battery failure occurred sufficiently far into float that the monotonic damping of the payload motions was well established and recorded. A good measurement of the rate of damping was obtained by the sky aspect camera. The cosmic ray measurements were not obtained.
- NCAR Scientific Balloon Facility Annual Report, 1970 National Center for Atmospheric Research, February 1971
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