Purpose of the flight and payload description
The Italian Space Agency as part of the stratospheric balloon launch campaign 1999 decided, in collaboration with the Centro Nazionale Universitario di Calcolo Elettronico (CNUCE) of Pisa, to test a new flight technique based on some considerations on the structure of the atmosphere where the layers at different altitudes assume density, speed and different directions. During the monsoon stratospheric summer, was observed that from 16 Km to 21 Km air currents were traveling mainly eastward and from 21 to 40 Km of altitude the flow direction was mainly westward.
The mission Boomerang was based on the idea that was factible to launch a balloon to a float altitude between 21 and 40 km, allowing it to move to the West, and after a while to make it to descend between 16 and 20 Km and then, mounted on the opposite direction winds, return near the launch point. The mission was planned to be performed using a stratospheric balloon of 100,000 m3 of volume, launched from Trapani, reaching the quota of 30 km, then opening the valves of the balloon to allow the loss of lift, descending to 18 Km, and maintaining such altitude until termination for recovery of the payload in Sicily.
Details of the balloon flight
Balloon launched on: 6/0/1999
Launch site: Base di Lancio Luigi Broglio, Trapani, Sicily, Italy
Balloon launched by: Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 6/0/1999
Boomerang local flight
On regard this particular flight during the 1999 campaign, there is no precise information available on the day and month on which was performed. We don't know for sure if the Boomerang 99 mission was intended to be performed that year and finally was carried out in 2000 (there was a Boomerang mission that year) or if the balloon was really launched.