Purpose of the flight and payload description
Flight # 8 - An astronomical telescope designed to obtain sharper pictures of certain galaxies, nebulae, and the planet Saturn than were possible at the time.
The telescope was a four-ton, 36-inch aperture optical system capable of providing resolution of 0.1 second of arc-- equal to the ability to distinguish two objects 30 inches apart at a distance of 1,000 miles.
In this flight three primary scientific targets were photographed by the telescope; Galaxy M31 (commonly known as Andromeda), Galaxy M32, and Planetary Nebula NGC 7662.
Details of the balloon flight
Balloon launched on: 9/9/1971
Launch site: Redstone Army Airfield, Huntsville, Alabama, US
Balloon launched by: NASA
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon Schjeldahl - Top: 273.500 cuft (G001200-50) - Main: 5.580.000 cuft (G001100-35)
Flight identification number: 629SS
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 9/10/1971 at 11
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): F 10 h 50 m
Landing site: 7 miles SE from Bald Knob, Arkansas, US
Payload weight: 14.103 lbs
Launched on September 9, 1971, the telescope reached its operating altitude at about 82,800 feet. Controlled from a Marshall Center station on Green Mountain, it drifted westward at about 20 to 25 miles per hour and came down on a farm about seven miles southeast of Bald Knob, Arkansas.
- Balloon-Borne Telescope was Launched In 1971 Mike Wright, MSFC Historian
- High-Resolution Imagery of Uranus Obtained by Stratoscope II Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 178, pp. 887
- NCAR Scientific Balloon Facility Annual Report, 1971 National Center for Atmospheric Research, February 1972
- The dynamics of the nucleus of M31 Astrophysical Journal, Part 1, vol. 256, May 15, 1982, p. 435
- The nucleus of M31 Astrophysical Journal, vol. 194, Dec. 1, 1974, pt. 1, p. 257
Images of the mission
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